The performance of a compressor cascade is considerably influenced by secondary flow effects, like the cross flow on the end wall as well as the corner separation between the wall and the vane. An extensive experimental study of vortex generator application in a highly loaded compressor cascade was performed in order to control these effects and enhance the aerodynamic performance. The results of the study will be used in future projects as a basis for parameterization in the design and optimization process for compressors in order to develop novel nonaxisymmetric endwalls as well as for blade modifications. The study includes the investigation of two vortex generator types with different geometrical forms and their application on several positions in the compressor cascade. The investigation includes a detailed description of the secondary flow effects in the compressor cascade, which is based on numerical and experimental results. This gives the basis for a specific approach of influencing the cascade flow by means of vortex generators. Depending on the vortex generator type and position, there is an impact on the end wall cross flow, the development of the horse shoe vortex at the leading edge of the vane, and the extent of the corner separation achieved by improved mixing within the boundary layer. The experiments were carried out on a compressor cascade at a high-speed test facility at DLR in Berlin at minimum loss (design point) and off-design of the cascade at Reynolds numbers up to Re = 0.6 × 106 (based on 40-mm chord) and Mach numbers up to M = 0.7. At the cascade design point, the total pressure losses could be reduced by up to 9% with the vortex generator configuration, whereas the static pressure rise was nearly unaffected. Furthermore, the cascade deflection could be influenced considerably by vortex generators and also an enhancement of the cascade stall range could be achieved. All these results will be presented and discussed with respect to secondary flow mechanisms. Finally, the general application of vortex generators in axial compressors will be discussed.

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