Abstract

In this work, the effects of turbine center frame (TCF) wakes on the aeromechanical behavior of the downstream low-pressure turbine (LPT) blades are numerically investigated and compared with the experimental data. A small industrial gas turbine has been selected as a test case, composed of a TCF followed by the two low-pressure stages and a turbine rear frame (TRF) before the exhaust plenum. Full annulus unsteady computations of the whole low-pressure module have been performed. Two operating conditions, full (100%) and partial (50%) load, have been investigated with the aim of highlighting the impact of TCF wakes convection and diffusion through the downstream rows. Attention was paid to the harmonic content of rotors’ blades. The results show a slower decay of the wakes through the downstream rows in off-design conditions compared with the design point. The analysis of the rotors’ frequency spectrum reveals that moving from design to off-design conditions, the effect of the TCF does not change significantly. The harmonic contribution of all turbine components has been extracted, highlighting the effect of statoric parts on the last LPT blade. The TCF harmonic content remains the most relevant from an aeromechanic point of view as per experimental evidence, and it is considered for an forced response analysis (FRA) on the last LPT blade itself. Finally, aerodynamic and aeromechanic predictions have been compared with the experimental data to validate the numerical approach. Some general design solutions aimed at mitigating the TCF wakes impact are discussed.

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