The primary focus of this paper is to investigate the loss sources in an advanced GE transonic compressor design with high reaction and high stage loading. This advanced compressor has been investigated both experimentally and analytically in the past. The measured compressor efficiency is significantly lower than the efficiency calculated with various existing tools based on RANS and URANS. The general understanding is that some important flow physics in this modern compressor design are not represented in the current tools. To pinpoint the source of the efficiency miss, an advanced test with detailed flow traverse was performed for the front one and a half stage at the NASA Glenn Research Center. In the present paper, a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) is employed to determine whether a higher-fidelity simulation can pick up any additional flow physics that can explain past efficiency miss with RANS and URANS. The results from the Large Eddy Simulation were compared with the NASA test results and the GE interpretation of the test data. LES calculates lower total pressure and higher total temperature on the pressure side of the stator, resulting in large loss generation on the pressure side of the stator. On the other hand, existing tools based on the RANS and URANS do not calculate this high total temperature and low total pressure on the pressure side of the stator. The calculated loss through the stator from LES seems to match the measured data and the GE data interpretation. Detailed examination of the unsteady flow field from LES indicates that the accumulation of high loss near the pressure side of the stator is due to the interaction of the rotor wake with the stator blade. The strong rotor wake interacts quite differently with the pressure side of the stator than with the suction side of the stator blade. The concave curvature on the pressure side of the stator blade increases the mixing of the rotor wake with the pressure side boundary layer significantly. On the other hand, the convex curvature on the suction side of the stator blade decreases the mixing and the suction side blade boundary layer remains thin. The jet velocity in the rotor wake in the stator frame seems to magnify the curvature effect in addition to inviscid redistribution of wake fluid toward the pressure side of the blade.
Effects of Unsteady Flow Interactions on the Performance of a Highly-Loaded Transonic Compressor Stage
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Hah, C. "Effects of Unsteady Flow Interactions on the Performance of a Highly-Loaded Transonic Compressor Stage." Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition. Volume 2A: Turbomachinery. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. June 15–19, 2015. V02AT37A037. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/GT2015-43389
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