Regions of three-dimensional separations are an inherent flow feature of the suction surface - endwall corner in axial compressors. These corner separations can cause a significant total pressure loss and reduce the compressor’s efficiency. This paper uses wall-resolved LES to investigate the loss sources in a corner separation, and examines the influence of the inflow turbulence on these sources.

Different subgrid scale (SGS) models are tested and the choice of model is found to be important. The σ SGS model, which performed well, is then used to perform LES of a compressor endwall flow. The time-averaged data is in good agreement with measurements. The viscous and turbulent dissipation are used to highlight the sources of loss, with the latter being dominant. The key loss sources are seen to be the 2D laminar separation bubble and trailing edge wake, and the 3D flow region near the endwall.

Increasing the free-stream turbulence intensity (FST) changes the suction surface boundary layer transition mode from separation induced to bypass. However, it doesn’t significantly alter the transition location and therefore the corner separation size. Additionally, the FST doesn’t noticeably interact with the corner separation itself, meaning that in this case the corner separation is relatively insensitive to the FST.

The endwall boundary layer state is found to be significant. A laminar endwall boundary layer separates much earlier leading to a larger passage vortex. This significantly alters the endwall flow and loss. Hence, the need for accurate boundary measurements is clear.

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