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Research Papers

Efficient Finite Element Analysis/Computational Fluid Dynamics Thermal Coupling for Engineering Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Zixiang Sun, John W. Chew, Nicholas J. Hills, Konstantin N. Volkov

Thermo-Fluid Systems UTC, School of Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK

Christopher J. Barnes

 Rolls-Royce plc, P.O. Box 31, Derby, DE24 8BJ, UK

J. Turbomach 132(3), 031016 (Apr 05, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3147105 History: Received August 26, 2008; Revised February 11, 2009; Published April 05, 2010; Online April 05, 2010

An efficient finite element analysis/computational fluid dynamics (FEA/CFD) thermal coupling technique has been developed and demonstrated. The thermal coupling is achieved by an iterative procedure between FEA and CFD calculations. Communication between FEA and CFD calculations ensures continuity of temperature and heat flux. In the procedure, the FEA simulation is treated as unsteady for a given transient cycle. To speed up the thermal coupling, steady CFD calculations are employed, considering that fluid flow time scales are much shorter than those for the solid heat conduction and therefore the influence of unsteadiness in fluid regions is negligible. To facilitate the thermal coupling, the procedure is designed to allow a set of CFD models to be defined at key time points/intervals in the transient cycle and to be invoked during the coupling process at specified time points. To further enhance computational efficiency, a “frozen flow” or “energy equation only” coupling option was also developed, where only the energy equation is solved, while the flow is frozen in CFD simulation during the thermal coupling process for specified time intervals. This option has proven very useful in practice, as the flow is found to be unaffected by the thermal boundary conditions over certain time intervals. The FEA solver employed is an in-house code, and the coupling has been implemented for two different CFD solvers: a commercial code and an in-house code. Test cases include an industrial low pressure (LP) turbine and a high pressure (HP) compressor, with CFD modeling of the LP turbine disk cavity and the HP compressor drive cone cavity flows, respectively. Good agreement of wall temperatures with the industrial rig test data was observed. It is shown that the coupled solutions can be obtained in sufficiently short turn-around times (typically within a week) for use in design.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 13

FEA and CFD models for a HP compressor drive cone cavity

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Figure 14

Transient thermal cycle for the HP compressor drive cone cavity

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Figure 2

Cycle definition for 2D rotor-stator FEA/CFD thermal coupling

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Figure 3

Initial adiabatic CFD solution for 2D rotor-stator FEA/CFD thermal coupling

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Figure 4

Comparison of wall temperature histories for 2D rotor-stator FEA/CFD thermal coupling

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Figure 5

Metal temperature contours at time t=210 s for 2D rotor-stator FEA/CFD thermal coupling

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Figure 6

Wall temperature distributions at time t=210 s for 2D rotor-stator FEA/CFD thermal coupling

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Figure 7

3D rotor-stator sector CFD model

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Figure 8

FEA and CFD models for a LP turbine cavity

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Figure 9

Transient thermal cycle for the LP turbine cavity

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Figure 10

Typical mesh of the CFD model for the LP turbine cavity

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Figure 11

Two initial adiabatic CFD solutions for the LP turbine cavity; (a) idle, (b) MTO

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Figure 12

Monitored temperature histories for the LP turbine cavity

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Figure 1

2D rotor-stator FEA and CFD models

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Figure 15

Initial adiabatic CFD solutions for the HP compressor drive cone cavity; (a) idle, (b) MTO

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Figure 16

Monitored temperature histories for the HP compressor drive cone cavity

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