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Research Papers

A Comparison of the Flow Structures and Losses Within Vaned and Vaneless Stators for Radial Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
A. T. Simpson, S. W. Spence, J. K. Watterson

School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5AH, UK

J. Turbomach 131(3), 031010 (Apr 09, 2009) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2988493 History: Received November 30, 2007; Revised March 26, 2008; Published April 09, 2009

This paper details the numerical analysis of different vaned and vaneless radial inflow turbine stators. Selected results are presented from a test program carried out to determine performance differences between the radial turbines with vaned stators and vaneless volutes under the same operating conditions. A commercial computational fluid dynamics code was used to develop numerical models of each of the turbine configurations, which were validated using the experimental results. From the numerical models, areas of loss generation in the different stators were identified and compared, and the stator losses were quantified. Predictions showed the vaneless turbine stators to incur lower losses than the corresponding vaned stator at matching operating conditions, in line with the trends in measured performance. Flow conditions at rotor inlet were studied and validated with internal static pressure measurements so as to judge the levels of circumferential nonuniformity for each stator design. In each case, the vaneless volutes were found to deliver a higher level of uniformity in the rotor inlet pressure field.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 6

Nozzle grid (full-stage model)

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Figure 7

Refined single passage model

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Figure 8

Comparison of experimental and numerical results for both the vaned and vaneless turbine B configurations at a corrected speed of 55,000rpm

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Figure 9

Mach number distribution in the midspan plane of the vaneless volute

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Figure 5

Rotor grid (full-stage model)

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Figure 4

Vaneless volute mesh features

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Figure 12

Hub wall streamlines and viewing plane locations around vane B1

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Figure 13

Secondary flows and total pressure losses at different cross-sectional planes, vane B1

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Figure 14

Hub wall streamlines and viewing plane locations around vane B10

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Figure 15

Secondary flows and total pressure losses at different cross-sectional planes, vane B10

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Figure 16

Comparison of measured and predicted static pressures around rotor inlet

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Figure 17

Circumferential distribution of total pressure loss and flow angle around the rotor inlet of the vaneless B turbine

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Figure 18

Comparison of measured and predicted static pressures around rotor inlet on the shroud side of the vaned B turbine

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Figure 3

Meridional view of the turbine rotor

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Figure 2

Variation of A∕r ratio with azimuth angle for each vaneless volute

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Figure 1

Vaneless volute (a) and vaned stator (b)

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Figure 10

Total pressure distribution and velocity vectors at various cross-sectional planes in the volute

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Figure 11

Mach number distribution in the midspan plane of the vaned B configuration

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