The present paper deals with the redesign of cyclic variation of a set of fan outlet guide vanes by means of high-fidelity full-annulus CFD. The necessity for the aerodynamic redesign originated from a change to the original project requirement, when the customer requested an increase in specific thrust above the original engine specification. The main objectives of this paper are: 1) make use of 3D CFD simulations to accurately model the flow field and identify high-loss regions; 2) elaborate an effective optimisation strategy using engineering judgement in order to define realistic objectives, constraints and design variables; 3) emphasise the importance of parametric geometry modelling and meshing for automatic design optimisation of complex turbomachinery configurations; 4) illustrate that the combination of advanced optimisation algorithms and aerodynamic expertise can lead to successful optimisations of complex turbomachinery components within practical time and costs constrains. The current design optimisation exercise was carried out using an in-house set of software tools to mesh, resolve, analyse and optimise turbomachinery components by means of Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations. The original configuration was analysed using the 3D CFD model and thereafter assessed against experimental data and flow visualisations. The main objective of this phase was to acquire a deep insight of the aerodynamics and the loss mechanisms. This was important to appropriately limit the design scope and to drive the optimisation in the desirable direction with a limited number of design variables. A mesh sensitivity study was performed in order to minimise computational costs. Partially converged CFD solutions with restart and response surface models were used to speed up the optimisation loop. Finally, the single-point optimised circumferential stagger pattern was manually adjusted to increase the robustness of the design at other flight operating conditions. Overall, the optimisation resulted in a major loss reduction and increased operating range. Most important, it provided the project with an alternative and improved design within the time schedule requested and demonstrated that CFD tools can be used effectively not only for the analysis but also to provide new design solutions as a matter of routine even for very complex geometry configurations.

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