In a Counter Rotating Turbine (CRT), the stationary nozzle is trailed by two rotors that rotate in the opposite direction to each other. Flow in a CRT stage is multifaceted and more three dimensional, especially, in the gap between nozzle and rotor 1 as well as rotor 1 and rotor 2. By varying this gap between the blade rows, the flow and wake pattern can be changed favorably and may lead to improved performance. Present work analyzes the aspect of change in flow field through the interface, especially the wake pattern and deviation in flow with change in spacing. The components of turbine stage are modeled for different gaps between the components using ANSYS® ICEM CFD 14.0. Normalized flow rates ranging from 0.091 to 0.137 are used. The 15, 30, 50 and 70% of the average axial chords are taken as axial gaps in the present analysis. CFX 14.0 is used for simulation. At nozzle inlet, stagnation pressure boundary condition is used. At the turbine stage or rotor 2 outlet, mass flow rate is specified. Pressure distribution contours at the outlets of the blade rows describe the flow pattern clearly in the interface region. Wake strength at nozzle outlet is more for the lowest gap. At rotor 1 outlet, it is less for x/a = 0.3 and increases with gap. Incidence angles at the inlets of rotors are less for the smaller gaps. Deviation angle at the outlet of rotor 1 is also considered, as rotor 1-rotor 2 interaction is more significant in CRT. Deviation angle at rotor 1 outlet is minimum for this gap. Also, for the intermediate mass flow rate of 0.108, x/a = 0.3 is giving more stage performance. This suggests that at certain axial gap, there is better wake convection and flow outline, when compared to other gap cases. Further, it is identified that for the axial gap of x/a = 0.3 and the mean mass flow rate of 0.108, the performance of CRT is maximum. It is clear that the flow pattern at the interface is changing the incidence and deviation with change in axial gap and flow rate. This study is useful for the gas turbine community to identify the flow rates and gaps at which any CRT stage would perform better.

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