Gas turbine engines are widely used as the marine main power system. However, they can’t reverse like diesel engine. If the reversal is realized, other ways must be adopted, for example, controllable pitch propeller (CPP) and reversible gearing.
Although CPP has widespread use, the actuator installation inside the hub of the propeller lead to the decrease in efficiency, and it takes one minute to switch “full speed ahead” to “full speed astern”. In addition, some devices need to be added for the reversible gearing, and it takes five minutes to switch from “full speed ahead” “to “full speed astern”.
Based on the gas turbine engine itself, a reversible gas turbine engine is proposed, which can rotate positively or reversely. Most important of all, reversible gas turbine engine can realize operating states of “full speed ahead”, “full speed astern“ and “stop propeller”. And, it just takes half of one minute to switch “full speed ahead” to “full speed astern”.
Since reversible gas turbine engines have compensating advantages, and especially in recent years computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technology and turbine gas-dynamics design level develop rapidly, reversible gas turbine engines will be a good direction for ship astern.
In this paper, the power turbine of a marine gas turbine engine was redesigned by three dimensional shape modification, and the flow field is analyzed using CFD, in order to redesign into a reverse turbine. The last stage vanes and blades of this power turbine were changed to double-layer structure. That is, the outer one is reversible turbine, while the inner is the ahead one. Note that their rotational directions are opposite. In order to realize switching between rotation ahead and rotation astern, switching devices were designed, which locate in the duct between the low pressure turbine and power turbine. Moreover, In order to reduce the blade windage loss caused by the reversible turbine during working ahead, baffle plates were used before and after the reversible rotor blades.
This paper mainly studied how to increase the efficiency of the reversible turbine stage, the torque change under different operating conditions, rotational speed and rotational directions, and flow field under typical operating conditions. A perfect profile is expected to provide for reversible power turbine, and it can decrease the blade windage loss, and increase the efficiency of the whole gas turbine engine. Overall, the efficiency of the newly designed reversible turbine is up to 85.7%, and the output power is more than 10 MW, which can meet requirements of no less than 30% power of rated condition. Most importantly, the shaft is not over torque under all ahead and astern conditions. Detailed results about these are presented and discussed in the paper.