This study used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to investigate modified turbine blade tip shapes as a means of reducing the leakage flow and vortex. The subject of this study was the single-stage experimental turbine facility at Penn State University, with scaled three-dimensional geometry representative of a modern high-pressure stage. To validate the numerical procedure, the rotor flowfield was first computed with no modification to the tip, and the results compared with measurements of the flowfield. The flow was then predicted for a variety of different tip shapes: first with coarse grids for screening purposes and then with more refined grids for final verification of preferred tip geometries. Part 1 of this two-part paper focuses on the turbine case description, numerical procedure, baseline flat-tip computations, and comparison of the baseline results with measurement. A Runge-Kutta time-marching CFD solver (ADPAC) was used to solve the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations. Two-equation turbulence modeling with low Reynolds number adjustments was used for closure. The baseline rotor flowfield was computed twice: with a moderately sized mesh (720,000 nodes) and also with a much more refined mesh (7.2 million nodes). Both solutions showed good agreement with previously taken measurements of the rotor flowfield, including five-hole probe measurements of the velocity and total pressure inside the passage, as well as pressure measurements on the blade and casing surfaces.

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