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Research Papers

Using Unsteady Analysis to Improve the Steady State Computational Fluid Dynamics Assessment of Minimum Flow in a Radial Compressor Stage

[+] Author and Article Information
Clementine Vezier

Aero/Thermo Engineer
Dresser-Rand Company,
95 Highland Avenue,
Suite 205,
Bethlehem, PA 18017
e-mail: cvezier@dresser-rand.com

Michael Dollinger

Project Engineer
e-mail: mdollinger@dresser-rand.com

James M. Sorokes

Principal Engineer
e-mail: jsorokes@dresser-rand.com

Jorge E. Pacheco

Manager
Aero/Thermo Design Engineering
e-mail: jepacheco@dresser-rand.com
Dresser-Rand Company,
500 Paul Clark Drive,
Olean, NY 14760

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received July 2, 2013; final manuscript received July 25, 2013; published online October 24, 2013. Editor: Ronald Bunker.

J. Turbomach 136(5), 051017 (Oct 24, 2013) (12 pages) Paper No: TURBO-13-1128; doi: 10.1115/1.4025573 History: Received July 02, 2013; Revised July 25, 2013

This paper presents a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study performed to assess the prediction of the minimum stable volume flow for a high Mach number, high head, and high volume flow compressor stage. CFD was run on a “pie slice” or sector stage model in steady-state condition and on a full 360 deg stage model under both steady and unsteady state conditions. The predictions of the minimum stable flow were compared to experimental data. Results showed the CFD performed on the “pie slice” stage model over-predicted the minimum stable flow by 9% compared to the test results, while the transient CFD predicted the minimum stable flow within 5.8%. Flow field comparisons of the impeller between unsteady and steady state CFD revealed that the steady state CFD accurately predicted the flow phenomena until the onset of surge. However, the unsteady flow features could not propagate through the diffuser because of the limitations of the impeller-diffuser interface modeling in the steady state analysis.

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References

Sorokes, J. M., 2003, “Range Versus Efficiency: A Dilemma for Compressor Designers and Users,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2003-55223. [CrossRef]
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Denton, J. D., 2010, “Some Limitations of Turbomachinery CFD,” ASME Paper No. GT2010-22540. [CrossRef]
Sorokes, J. M., Pacheco, J. E., Vezier, C., and Fakhri, S., 2012, “An Analytical and Experimental Assessment of a Diffuser Flow Phenomenon as a Precursor To Stall,” ASME Paper No. GT2012-69122. [CrossRef]
Kowalski, S. C., Pacheco, J. E., Fakhri, S., and Sorokes, J. M., 2012, “Centrifugal Stage Performance Prediction and Validation for High Mach Number Applications,” 41st Turbomachinery Symposium Proceedings, Houston, TX, September 25–27.
Mangani, L., and Mauri, S., 2011, “Assessment of Various Turbulence Models in a High Pressure Ratio Centrifugal Compressor With an Object Oriented CFD Code,” ASME Paper No. GT2011-46829. [CrossRef]
Guidotti, E., Tapinassi, L., Toni, L., Bianchi, L., Gaetani, P., and Persico, G., 2011, “Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Flow Field in the Impeller of a Centrifugal Compressor Stage at a Design Point,” ASME Paper No. GT2011-45036. [CrossRef]
Senoo, Y., and Kinoshita, Y., 1977, “Influence of Inlet Flow Conditions and Geometries of Centrifugal Vaneless Diffusers on Critical Flow Angles For Reverse Flow,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 99(1), pp. 98–103. [CrossRef]
Senoo, Y., and Kinoshita, Y., 1978, “Limits of Rotating Stall and Stall in Vaneless Diffusers of Centrifugal Compressors,” ASME Paper No. 78-GT-19.
Kobayashi, H., Nishida, H., Takagi, T., and Fukushima, Y., 1990, “A Study on the Rotating Stall of Centrifugal Compressors: 2nd Report, Effect of Vaneless Diffuser Inlet Shape on Rotating Stall,” Trans. JSME (B Edition), 56(529), pp. 2646–2651. [CrossRef]
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El-Behery, S. M., and Hamed, M. H., 2009, “A Comparative Study of Turbulence Models Performance for Turbulent Flow in a Planar Asymmetric Diffuser,” Proc. World Academy of Science, Eng. Technol., 53, pp. 769–780.
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Figures

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Fig. 1

CFD domain of the sector model. Detailed view of the impeller mesh in the insert.

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Fig. 2

CFD domain of the full 360 geometry. Detailed view of the impeller mesh in the insert.

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Fig. 3

Meridional velocity profile, 96.2% flow

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Fig. 4

Meridional velocity profile, 91.07% flow

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Fig. 5

Meridional velocity profile, 86.14% flow

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Fig. 6

Meridional velocity profile, 111.7% flow

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Fig. 7

Schematic of test loop with main components

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Fig. 8

Typical test rig internal instrumentation layout

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Fig. 9

Pressure pulsation recorded by the pressure transducers at the diffuser inlet, at design flow

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Fig. 10

Pressure pulsation recorded by the pressure transducers at the diffuser exit, at design flow

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Fig. 11

Pressure pulsation recorded by the pressure transducers at the diffuser exit, at 93.9% design flow

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Fig. 12

Pressure pulsation recorded by the pressure transducers at the diffuser inlet, at 93.9% design flow

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Fig. 13

Pressure pulsation recorded by the pressure transducers at the diffuser exit. The compressor unit is in a hysteresis zone.

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Fig. 14

Normalized polytropic efficiency from impeller inlet to return channel exit versus normalized flow coefficient, test versus CFD

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Fig. 15

Normalized polytropic head coefficient from impeller inlet to return channel exit versus normalized flow coefficient, test versus CFD

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Fig. 16

Flow angle at the return channel inlet versus the normalized flow coefficient, test versus CFD

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Fig. 17

Meridional velocity contour at 93.7% design flow at a circumferential location of 77 deg

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Fig. 18

Flow angle at the 25% span, at the diffuser exit, 93.7% design flow

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Fig. 19

Flow angle at the 25% span, at mid-diffuser, 93.7% design flow

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Fig. 20

Meridional velocity contour at 10% span in the return channel, 93.7% design flow

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Fig. 21

Meridional velocity midspan from the impeller inlet to the return channel exit, 93.7% design flow

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Fig. 22

Meridional velocity contour at 88.4% design flow

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Fig. 23

Radial velocity contour at 85% span through the diffuser, 88.4% design flow

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Fig. 24

Flow angle at the diffuser inlet at 85% span, 88.4% design flow

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Fig. 25

Velocity contour at 50% span in the return channel for consecutive impeller rotations, 88.4% design flow

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Fig. 26

Meridional velocity contour from the impeller inlet to the diffuser exit at 85% span

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