The development of new generations of aircraft engines with reduced environmental impact heavily relies on high-fidelity 3D numerical analysis of the main engine components, compressor, combustion chamber, turbine and their interactions, including the transient and off-design behavior of the full engine.

Unlike component-by-component analysis, which requires separate assumptions for the pressure and temperature boundary conditions for each component, a fully coupled approach requires only knowledge of the compressor inlet and turbine outlet flow conditions. In addition, the engine rotation speed can also be varied during the simulation to converge to the correct balance of power between compressor and turbine.

This integrated approach provides a detailed description of the flow field inside the full engine at the desired operating point with one single CFD simulation.

The full engine simulation methodology can be developed at several levels: (1) RANS simulations with mixing-plane interfaces between components; (2) advanced RANS treatment with inputs from the nonlinear harmonic (NLH) methodology to allow for tangential non-uniformity, such as hot streaks entering the turbine nozzle from the combustor; (3) inclusion of the unsteady rotor-stator interactions, via NLH, in compressor and turbine stages; (4) coupling with LES simulations in the combustor.

This paper presents results from levels (1) and (2) of this methodology applied to a micro-turbine gas engine including the HP compressor, combustor, HP and LP turbines and the exhaust hood. The geometry has been obtained from the redesign of the KJ66 micro gas turbine engine using preliminary design tools. The injection and burning of fuel inside the combustion chamber are modeled with a simplified flamelet model. The paper presents the approach and results of the full engine simulation; as well as the initial steps towards level (3).

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