Laminar separation on the suction side of low-pressure turbine blades at low Reynolds number operating conditions deteriorates overall engine performance and has to be avoided. This requirement affects the blade design and poses a limitation on the maximum permissible blade spacing. Better understanding of the flow physics associated with laminar separation will aid in the development of flow control techniques for delaying or preventing flow separation. Simulations of low-pressure turbine flows are challenging as both unsteady separation and transition are present and interacting. Available simulation strategies have to be evaluated before a well-founded decision for the choice of a particular simulation strategy can be made. With this in mind, this paper provides a comparison of different flow simulation strategies: In particular, “coarse grid” direct numerical simulations, implicit large-eddy simulations, and simulations based on a hybrid turbulence modeling approach are evaluated with particular emphasis on investigating the dynamics of the coherent structures that are generated in the separated flow region and that appear to dominate the entire flow. It is shown that in some instances, the effect of the dominant coherent structures can also be predicted by unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes calculations.

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