This paper presents a new design for a Compressor Inlet Manifold (CIM) for a land-based power generation Gas Turbine (turbine). The CIM is the component of the Inlet System (IS) that is directly connected to the turbine via the Compressor Inlet Case (CIC). The design philosophy is to use low fidelity but fast and automated CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) for design iterations and then confirm the design with detailed higher accuracy CFD before proceeding to engine tests. New design features include contouring the wall to minimize areas of flow separation and associated unsteadiness and losses, and improvement of the flow quality into the compressor.
The CIM in a land-based turbine acts as a nozzle whereas the inlet of an aircraft acts as a diffuser. The flow also enters the CIM at 90 deg to the engine axis. This leads to a pair of counter rotating vortices at the compressor inlet. Three main sources of flow distortions at the face of the compressor are identified: flow separations at outer walls of the IS and CIM struts and the counter rotating vortices. The higher accuracy CFD analysis including the complete IS, CIM and the first compressor stage, simulates the effect of these distortions on the compressor front stage at design conditions. A range of inlet distortion parameters are used to evaluate the inlet design. The well known DC60 based criterion derived from aircraft engines and other less known but published parameters are able to give an indication of how the compressor surge margin of stationary gas turbines is affected.