Research Papers

Analytical and Numerical Simulations of the Two-Phase Flow Heat Transfer in the Vent and Scavenge Pipes of the CLEAN Engine Demonstrator

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Flouros

 MTU Aero Engines, Dachauer Strasse 665, 80995 Munich, Germany

J. Turbomach 132(1), 011008 (Sep 16, 2009) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3068331 History: Received August 19, 2008; Revised September 04, 2008; Published September 16, 2009

Advanced aircraft engine development dictates high standards of reliability for the lubrication systems, not only in terms of the proper lubrication of the bearings and the gears, but also in terms of the removal of the large amounts of the generated heat. Heat is introduced both internally through the rotating hardware and externally through radiation, conduction, and convection. In case where the bearing chamber is in close proximity to the engine’s hot section, the external heat flux may be significant. This is, for example, the case when oil pipes pass through the turbine struts and vanes on their way to the bearing chamber. There, the thermal impact is extremely high, not only because of the hot turbine gases flowing around the vanes, but also because of the hot cooling air, which is ingested into the vanes. The impact of this excessive heat on the oil may lead to severe engine safety and reliability problems, which can range from oil coking with blockage of the oil tubes to oil fires with loss of part integrity, damage, or even failure of the engine. It is therefore of great importance that the oil system designer is capable of predicting the system’s functionality. As part of the European Research program efficient and environmentally friendly aero-engine, the project component validator for environmentally friendly aero-engine (Wilfert, , 2005, “CLEAN–Validation of a GTF High Speed Turbine and Integration of Heat Exchanger Technology in an Environmental Friendly Engine Concept,” International Symposium on Air Breathing Engines, Paper No. ISABE-2005-1156;Gerlach, 2005, “CLEAN–Bench Adaptation and Test for a Complex Demo Engine Concept at ILA Stuttgart,” International Symposium on Air Breathing Engines, Paper No. ISABE-2005-1134) was initiated with the goal to develop future engine technologies. Within the scope of this program, MTU Aero Engines has designed the lubrication system and has initiated an investigation of the heat transfer in the scavenge and vent tubes passing through the high thermally loaded turbine center frame (TCF). The objective was to evaluate analytical and numerical models for the heat transfer into the air and oil mixtures and benchmark them. Three analytical models were investigated. A model that was based on the assumption that the flow of air and oil is a homogeneous mixture, which was applied on the scavenge flow. The other two models assumed annular two-phase flows and were applied on the vent flows. Additionally, the two-phase flow in the scavenge and vent pipes was simulated numerically using the ANSYS CFX package. The evaluation of the models was accomplished with test data from the heavily instrumented test engine with special emphasis on the TCF. Both the analytical and the numerical models have demonstrated strengths and weaknesses. The homogeneous flow model correlation and the most recent correlation by Busam for vent flows have demonstrated very good agreement between test and computed results. On the other hand the numerical analysis produced remarkable results, however, at the expense of significant modeling and computing efforts. This particular work is unique compared with published investigations since it was conducted in a real engine environment and not in a simulating rig. Nevertheless, research in two-phase flow heat transfer will continue in order to mitigate any deficiencies and to further improve the correlations and the CFD tools.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Diagram showing the CLEAN engine lubrication system

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Figure 2

A schematic of the turbine center frame with instrumentation setup

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Figure 3

A schematic of the secondary air system (SAS) in the TCF. The arrows depict the TCF air flow.

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Figure 4

Nusselt-number variation as a function of the oil flow at constant air flow (0.02 kg/s)

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Figure 5

Nusselt-number variation as a function of the air flow at constant oil flow (80 l/h)

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Figure 6

Measured and calculated air/oil temperatures in the TCF vent pipe. Busam’s correlation (7) yields best accuracy to the measurements. The CFD results are in between the results from the correlations.

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Figure 7

The vent flow regime according to Hewitt and Roberts (8) is for annular flow. Operating Points 1–16 are given in Tables  12.

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Figure 8

The scavenge flow regime according to Oshinowo and Charles (9) is a bubbly film

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Figure 9

Very good accuracy between measured and calculated air/oil temperatures in the scavenge pipe

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Figure 10

Vent and scavenge flow regimes (highlighted) as by Hewitt and Roberts (8) (vent) and Oshinowo and Charles (9) (scavenge)

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Figure 11

The CAD model of the scavenge pipe shown in different viewing perspectives. The airstreams around the pipe are indicated.

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Figure 12

The oil concentration (volume fraction) in the scavenge pipe from four viewing perspectives. Perspectives (a) and (b) show the oil accumulation along the longest arc in the bends. Perspectives (c) and (d) show the front and rear sides of the noncircular part of the pipe.

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Figure 13

A domain of almost pure air (∼99%) occupies the center of the tube. The oil covers most of the tube’s inner walls particularly the arcs in the bends.

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Figure 14

The metal temperature distribution on the oil scavenge pipe for Performance Point No. 3

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Figure 15

The oil and temperature distributions on the scavenge pipe’s walls at an air temperature around the tube of 400°C (Operation Point No. 16)

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Figure 16

The oil flow distribution in the vent pipe. In the arc areas the oil moves radially outwards. The core of the tube is almost free of oil.

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Figure 17

The temperature distribution on the vent pipe’s walls. The hot areas reach temperatures up to 225°C.

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Figure 18

The oil (a) and (c) and temperature (b) and (d) distributions on the vent pipe’s walls when the air temperature around the tube is 400°C (Point 16)




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