Modern low pressure turbines (LPT) feature high pressure ratios and moderate Mach and Reynolds numbers, increasing the possibility of laminar boundary-layer separation on the blades. Upstream disturbances including background turbulence and incoming wakes have a profound effect on the behavior of separation bubbles and the type/location of laminar-turbulent transition and therefore need to be considered in LPT design. Unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) are often found inadequate to resolve the complex wake dynamics and impact of these environmental parameters on the boundary layers and may not drive the design to the best aerodynamic efficiency. LES can partly improve the accuracy, but has difficulties in predicting boundary layer transition and capturing the delay of laminar separation with varying inlet turbulence levels. Direct numerical simulation (DNS) is able to overcome these limitations but has to date been considered too computationally expensive. Here, a novel compressible DNS code is presented and validated, promising to make DNS practical for LPT studies. Also, the sensitivity of wake loss coefficient with respect to freestream turbulence levels below 1% is discussed.

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