The aerodynamic effects of a probe for stage performance evaluation in a high-speed axial compressor are investigated. Regarding the probe measurement accuracy and its aerodynamic effects, the upstream/downstream effects on the probe and probe insertion effects are studied by using an unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and by verifying in two types of multistage high-speed axial compressor measurements. The probe traverse measurements were conducted at the stator inlet and outlet in each case to evaluate blade row performance quantitatively and its flow field.

In the past study, the simple approximation method was carried out which considered only the interference of the probe effect based on the reduction of the mass flow by the probe blockage for the compressor performance, but it did not agree well with the measured results. In order to correctly and quantitatively grasp the mechanism of the flow field when the probe is inserted, the unsteady calculation including the probe geometry was carried out in the present study.

Unsteady calculation was performed with a probe inserted completely between the rotor and stator of a 4-stage axial compressor. Since the probe blockage and potential flow field, which mean the pressure change region induced by the probe, change the operating point of the upstream rotor and increase the work of the rotor. Compared the measurement result with probe to a kiel probe setting in the stator leading edge, the total pressure was increased about 2,000Pa at the probe tip. In addition, the developed wake by the probe interferes with the downstream stator row and locally changes the static pressure at the stator exit.

To evaluate the probe insertion effect, unsteady calculations with probe at three different immersion heights at the stator downstream in an 8-stage axial compressor are performed. The static pressure value of the probe tip was increased about 3,000Pa in the hub region compared to tip region, this increase corresponds to the measurement trend. On the other hand, the measured wall static pressure showed that there is no drastic change in the radial direction. In addition, when the probe is inserted from the tip to hub region in the measurement, the blockage induced by the probe was increased. As a result, operating point of the stator was locally changed, and the rise of static pressure of the stator increased when the stator incidence changed.

These typical results show that unsteady simulations including probe geometry can accurately evaluate the aerodynamic effects of probes in the high-speed axial compressor. Therefore, since the probe will pinpointed and strong affects the practically local flow field in all rotor upstream passage and stator downstream, as for the probe measurement, it is important to pay attention to design the probe diameter, the distance from the blade row, and its relative position to the downstream stator.

From the above investigations, a newly simple approximation method which includes the effect of the pressure change evaluation by the probe is proposed, and it is verified in the 4-stage compressor case as an example. In this method, the effects of the distance between the rotor trailing edge (T.E.) and the probe are considered by the theory of the incompressible two-dimensional potential flow. The probe blockage decreases the mass flow rate and changes the operating point of the compressor. The verification results conducted in real compressor indicate that the correct blockage approximation enables designer to estimate aerodynamic effects of the probe correctly.

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