Experimental data and numerical simulations are presented from a research turbine with low aspect ratio nozzle guide vanes (NGVs). The combined effects of mechanical and aerodynamic constraints on the NGV create very strong secondary flows. This paper describes three designs of NGV that have been tested in the turbine, using the same rotor row in each case. NGV 2 used three-dimensional design techniques in an attempt to improve the performance of the datum NGV 1 blade but succeeded only in creating an intense vortex shed from the trailing edge (as previously reported) and lowering the measured stage efficiency by 1.1% points. NGV 3 was produced to avoid the “shed vortex” while adopting a highly aft-loaded surface pressure distribution to reduce the influence of the secondary flows. The stage with NGV 3 had an efficiency 0.5% points greater than that with NGV 1. Detailed comparisons between experiment and CFD, including predicted entropy generation rates, are used to highlight the areas where the loss reduction has occurred and hence to quantify the effects of employing highly aft-loaded NGVs.

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