In this paper, the modelling of leakages through a compressor stator penny cavity, and their effect on the aerodynamics within the compressor are studied. The penny, sometimes also referred to as ‘button’, is the cylindrical platform feature of a variable stator normally found between a vane’s airfoil and spindle. The pennies nominally lie recessed into the compressor endwalls at hub and casing, with a surrounding clearance to ensure the vane’s stagger angle can be adjusted. RANS-simulations, with these clearances included, have shown a significant impact from the penny cavity leakages on compressor efficiency and surge line. Neglecting this secondary flow path through the penny cavities results in an under prediction of the losses close to the endwalls.

The prediction of the penny cavity effect on the stator row is based on a Reynolds-Averaged-Navier-Stokes (RANS) study, using a hybrid structured-unstructured mesh to provide adequate resolution of the local flow phenomena.

The complex geometry and pressure field result in flows that are unevenly distributed within the penny cavity. The outflow or leakage is focused in a concentrated area leading to a high local velocity that strongly impacts the stator losses and turning. Since such geometries lie beyond the normal validated cases, the modelling uncertainties are discussed and the plausibility of the results is checked. In order to provide an experimental database and validate the turbulent mixing of leakage and main flow, which is seen as the main contributor to loss production, a validation test case — ‘Jet-In-Crossflow’ was chosen. As well as the standard RANS code, this validation case was run as a time-accurate high-order Lattice Boltzmann (LBM) simulation (PowerFLOW), using Very-Large-Eddy-Simulation (VLES) turbulence modelling. The LBM simulation showed significant unsteady flow features and was considerably closer to the test data than the RANS calculations.

A future test campaign, currently being prepared at the annular cascade test facility of the Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery (IST) at RWTH Aachen university, will be briefly presented. This focuses on investigating the penny flows in a typical engine design.

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