This paper presents an experimental/computational study of cold flow in the combustor-diffuser system of industrial gas turbines to address issues relating to flow interactions and pressure losses in the pre- and dump diffuses. The present configuration with can annular combustors differs substantially from the aircraft engines which typically use a 360 degree annular combustor. Experiments were conducted in a one-third scale, annular 360-degree model using several can combustors equispaced around the turbine axis. A 3-D computational fluid dynamics analysis employing the multidomain procedure was performed to supplement the flow measurements. The measured data correlated well with the computations. The airflow in the dump diffuser adversely affected the prediffuser flow by causing it to accelerate in the outer region at the prediffuser exit. This phenomenon referred to as the sink-effect also caused a large fraction of the flow to bypass much of the dump diffuser and go directly from the prediffuser exit to the bypass air holes on the combustor casing, thereby, rendering the dump diffuser ineffective in diffusing the flow. The dump diffuser was occupied by a large recirculation region which dissipated the flow kinetic energy. Approximately 1.2 dynamic head at the prediffuser inlet was lost in the combustor-diffuser system; much of it in the dump diffuser where the fluid passed through the narrow gaps and pathways. Strong flow interactions in the combustor-diffuser system indicate the need for design modifications which could not be addressed by empirical correlations based on simple flow configurations.

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