In steam turbine control valves, pressure fluctuations coupled with vortex structures in highly unsteady three-dimensional flows make essential contributions to aerodynamic forcing on the valve components, and are major sources of flow-induced vibration and acoustic effects. Advanced turbulence models, such as scale adaptive simulation (SAS), detached eddy simulation (DES) and large eddy simulation (LES), can capture detailed flow information of the control valve, but it is challenging to identify the primary flow structures due to the massive flow database. The present study used state-of-the-art data-driven analysis, namely proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and extended-POD, to extract the energetic pressure fluctuations and dominant vortex structures of the control valve. To this end, the typical annular attachment flow inside a steam turbine control valve was investigated by performing a DES study. Subsequently, the energetic pressure fluctuation modes were extracted by performing POD analysis on the valve’s pressure field. The vortex structures contributing to these energetic pressure fluctuation modes were extracted by performing extended-POD analysis on the pressure-velocity coupling field. Finally, the dominant vortex structures were revealed directly by POD analysis of the valve’s velocity field. The results demonstrated that the flow instabilities inside the control valve were mainly induced by oscillations of the annular wall-attached jet and the derivative flow separations and reattachments. In POD analysis of the pressure field, the axial, antisymmetric and asymmetric pressure modes occupied most of the pressure fluctuation intensity. By further conducting extended-POD analysis, the vortex structures’ incorporation with the energetic pressure modes was identified as mainly attributed to the synchronous, alternating and single-sided oscillation behaviors of the annular attachment flow. However, based on POD analysis of the unsteady velocity fields, the vortex structures, buried in the dominant modes at St = 0.017, were found to result from alternating oscillations of the annular wall-attached jet.

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