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Research Papers

Enhancing the Stability of Subsonic Compressors Using Casing Grooves

[+] Author and Article Information
Tim Houghton, Ivor Day

Whittle Laboratory, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB3 0DY, UK

J. Turbomach 133(2), 021007 (Oct 20, 2010) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000569 History: Received July 20, 2009; Revised July 28, 2009; Published October 20, 2010; Online October 20, 2010

Casing grooves are known to increase the stable operating range of axial compressors. The mechanism by which this stability enhancement occurs is poorly understood. This paper develops a better understanding of the behavior of casing grooves through analysis of new data. An experimental parametric study is used to demonstrate the effect of varying the axial location of a single casing groove on the stability and efficiency of the compressor. The effect that the groove has on rotor outflow blockage, blade loading, and the near-casing flow field is then investigated using both experimental and computational methods. It is found that the interaction of the groove with the flow field is different when the groove is positioned forward or aft relative to the blade. The interaction of the groove with the flow in the tip region in both of these positions is presented in detail. Finally, the implications of these findings for the design of casing grooves of different depths are discussed.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

The Natal compressor configuration

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Figure 2

Experimental and computational casing static pressure at φ=0.52

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Figure 3

Natal compressor experimental and computational characteristics

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Figure 4

Graphs showing how the SMI and MEI generated by the groove vary as it is moved aft from the leading edge

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Figure 5

Graphs showing the effect of the stator on the SMI trend

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Figure 6

Contours of axial velocity showing the effect of the groove at locations A, B and C on outflow blockage near stall. Low axial velocity is considered blockage. The three smooth wall cases differ slightly because of the build changes (and are shown for back-to-back comparison).

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Figure 7

The effect of the groove on blade loading near stall (y-axes inverted)

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Figure 8

The absolute flow pattern near the smooth casing (near stall)

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Figure 9

The creation of difference plots (top) and normalized changes to the casing static pressure (ΔP̃s) caused by the casing groove in locations A, B and C (bottom)

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Figure 10

Normalized changes to the relative total pressure (ΔP̃o,rel) of the near-casing flow caused by the groove in locations A, B and C

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Figure 11

Normalized changes to the velocity components (ΔṼx, ΔṼr, and ΔṼt) of the near-casing flow caused by the groove in locations A, B and C

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Figure 12

Constant radius cuts at 5%tc with the smooth wall and groove in locations A, B and C, showing absolute velocity contours (for magnitude) and vectors (for direction)

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Figure 13

The entropy change relative to the freestream inflow (ΔS) on meridional cuts with the smooth wall and groove in locations A and D

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Figure 14

Graphs showing how the SMI and MEI generated by two grooves of different depths vary as each is moved aft from the leading edge

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Figure 15

The static-to-static characteristics of the Natal compressor

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Figure 16

Comparison between the stall margin improvement of the groove at different axial locations from experiments and CFD

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