Unsteady Radial Transport in a Transonic Compressor Stage

[+] Author and Article Information
P. A. Kotidis, A. H. Epstein

Gas Turbine Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J. Turbomach 113(2), 207-218 (Apr 01, 1991) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2929084 History: Received January 06, 1990; Online June 09, 2008


Time-resolved radial transport has been measured in a transonic compressor rotor by injecting a thin sheet of tracer gas upstream of the rotor and then surveying the tracer concentration at the rotor exit. The simultaneous, co-located, high-frequency response measurements of local tracer gas concentration, total temperature, and total pressure made downstream of the rotor showed that most of the fluid transported radially appears in the blade wakes and that this fluid has considerably higher entropy than the circumferential mean. Both inward and outward fluid transport along the span was observed (3.5 percent of the total throughflow moved toward the tip while 1.6 percent moved toward the hub). Tracer concentration and fluid total temperature and pressure varied considerably from wake to wake, even on multiple samplings of the same blade. The time mean spreading rate inferred from these measurements is in general agreement with previously reported studies on multistage low-speed compressors and is well predicted by the method of Gallimore and Cumpsty. It is suggested that a vortex street in the blade wakes could be responsible for both the observed radial transport and the large wake-to- wake variability. A quasi-three-dimensional model of a vortex street wake was developed and shown to be consistent with the data. The model predicts all of the inward transport but only 20 percent of the outward transport. It is hypothesized that outflow in separated regions on the blade suction surface is responsible for the remainder of the transport toward the rotor tip. Since the entropy, as well as the mass of the fluid transported radially, was measured, an estimate of the redistribution of loss in rotor due to radial fluid transport could be made. This showed that the effect of radial transport in this rotor was to move substantial loss from the rotor hub to tip, implying that a conventionally measured spanwise efficiency survey may not accurately represent the performance of individual blade sections.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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