In this paper, a method for the performance prediction of multistage axial flow compressors through a steady, three-dimensional, multi-block Navier-Stokes solver is presented.

A repeating stage model has been developed aiming at the simplification of the required global aerodynamic boundary conditions for the simulation of the rear stages of multistage axial compressors where only mass flow rate and exit average static pressure are required. The stage inlet velocity distribution is fixed to be equal to the one calculated at the stage exit and the exit static pressure distribution is fixed to have the same shape to that at inlet but maintain its own average value. A mixing plane approach is used to exchange information between neighbouring blade rows which allows both radial and circumferential variations at both sides of the interface.

A pressure correction method with the standard k–ε turbulence model is used in combination with Stone’s two step procedure for the solution of the algebraic system of the discretised equations. A global iteration is carried out in order to establish the physical consistency between the blade rows.

A combination of two structured grid blocks for the rotor blade row, one for the main passage and a second for the modelling of the tip clearance, is used for a detailed representation of the leakage flows.

Computational results from two methods, the first by using the repeating stage model and the second by setting stage inlet velocity profile, are presented from the analysis of the third stage of the four-stage Cranfield Low Speed Research Compressor (LSRC). Good agreements with the experimental data are obtained in terms of total pressure, static pressure and velocity distributions at the inlet, exit and interface planes proving that the repeating stage model is a very economical and accurate alternative to the very expensive complete multistage simulations.

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