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Research Papers

Application of Flow Control in a Novel Sector Test Rig

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexander Simpson

e-mail: alexander.simpson@research.ge.com

Christian Aalburg

e-mail: christian.aalburg@research.ge.com

Michael B. Schmitz

e-mail: michael-b-schmitz@web.de

Robbert Pannekeet

e-mail: robbert.pannekeet@research.ge.com

Vittorio Michelassi

e-mail: vittorio.michelassi@ge.com
GE Global Research,
Freisinger Landstr. 50,
Garching 85748, Germany

Florian Larisch

Technical University Munich,
Garching 85748, Germany
e-mail: florian.larisch@gmail.com

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the Journal of Turbomachinery. Manuscript received December 20, 2012; final manuscript received June 24, 2013; published online September 26, 2013. Editor: Ronald Bunker.

J. Turbomach 136(4), 041002 (Sep 26, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: TURBO-12-1249; doi: 10.1115/1.4024905 History: Received December 20, 2012; Revised June 24, 2013

An experimental and numerical study has been performed to evaluate the effectiveness of steady injection flow control for the reduction of losses in the return channel of a radial compressor. This investigation formed part of an overall attempt to develop a strategy for reducing the diffusion ratio of radial compressors. It is envisaged that this flow control would be activated at off-design conditions, where separation levels on the return channel vanes are considerable. A novel radial compressor sector test rig, supported by a blow-down facility and equipped with a range of instrumentation, was used for the experimental portion of the study. This allowed multiple flow control configurations to be studied in a simplified environment. A set of exchangeable, inlet guide vanes provide the test vanes with the correct inlet three-dimensional flow-field, while airfoil static pressure taps allowed the blade loading to be assessed. The numerical portion of the study was conducted using 3D-computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and involved simulations of both the sector test rig and a “substitute system”. In this paper, the rationale for the inclusion of flow control in a radial compressor return channel is discussed. The sector test rig is then described, including the implementation of flow control. The results of the matrix of flow control experiments are then discussed with comparison to the numerical results.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Flow path schematic of a centrifugal compressor stage for a multistage configuration

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Fig. 2

Illustration of the shift in compressor size with diffusion ratio

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Fig. 3

Recirculation of gas from downstream stage for strategic injection in upstream stage

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Fig. 4

Schematic and photographs of the sector test rig (axial and front view)

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Fig. 5

Implementation of flow control

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Fig. 6

Computational grid for the sector test rig, deswirl vane, and deswirl vane trailing edge (top to bottom). Gridding performed using icem.

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Fig. 7

Geometry of the substitute system

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Fig. 8

Different strategies for modeling injection in the substitute system. From top to bottom: source points, patch baseline resolution, patch triple resolution, channel patch, full channel modeling.

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Fig. 9

Measurement and numerical predictions of static pressure distribution at midspan of deswirl vane (80% design flow coefficient). Numerical predictions of test rig, full annulus, and substitute system.

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Fig. 10

Flow angle as a function of span at the exit of the deswirl section from measurements and numerical predictions (80% design flow coefficient). Numerical predictions of test rig, full annulus, and substitute system.

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Fig. 11

Mass-averaged total/static pressure as a function of span at the exit of the deswirl section from measurements and numerical predictions (80% design flow coefficient). Numerical predictions of test rig, full annulus, and substitute system.

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Fig. 12

Error in loss coefficient between experimental data and numerical prediction data. Numerical predictions of test rig, full annulus, and substitute system.

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Fig. 13

Mach number contours corresponding to the different injection configurations and the substitute system. (a) Source points, (b) baseline patched channels, (c) patch triple resolution, (d) patched channel, (e) full channel modeling.

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Fig. 14

Flow angle as a function of span at the exit of the deswirl section from measurements and numerical predictions of the substitute system (80% design flow coefficient, 1.5% design mass flow injected). Numerical predictions performed using different modeling approaches for injection.

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Fig. 15

Mass-averaged pressure as a function of span at the exit of the deswirl section from measurements and numerical predictions of the substitute system (80% design flow coefficient, 1.5% design mass flow injected). Numerical predictions performed using different modeling approaches for injection.

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Fig. 16

Error in loss coefficient for different injection modeling options (source points, baseline patch, triple resolution patch, patched channel, full channel) and the substitute system. 80% design mass flow, 1.5% design mass flow injected.

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Fig. 17

Flow angle as a function of span at the exit of the deswirl section from measurements and numerical predictions of the full test rig geometry (80% design flow coefficient)

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Fig. 18

Mass-averaged pressure as a function of span at the exit of the deswirl section from measurements and numerical predictions of the full sector test rig geometry (80% design flow coefficient)

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Fig. 19

Experimental values of loss coefficient reduction as a function of control mass flow for the 80% design flow coefficient case for a range of injection configurations. Numerical predictions performed using the full sector test rig geometry.

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