Research Papers

Aerodynamic Design and Analysis of a Multistage Vaneless Counter-Rotating Turbine

[+] Author and Article Information
Wei Zhao

Key Laboratory of Light-Duty Gas-Turbine,
Institute of Engineering Thermophysics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
11 Beisihuanxi Road,
Beijing 100190, China
e-mail: zhaowei@iet.cn

Bing Wu

Institute of Engineering Thermophysics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
11 Beisihuanxi Road,
Beijing 100190, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China

Jianzhong Xu

Institute of Engineering Thermophysics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
11 Beisihuanxi Road,
Beijing 100190, China

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received September 27, 2014; final manuscript received October 17, 2014; published online December 11, 2014. Editor: Ronald Bunker.

J. Turbomach 137(6), 061008 (Jun 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: TURBO-14-1258; doi: 10.1115/1.4028871 History: Received September 27, 2014; Revised October 17, 2014; Online December 11, 2014

A multistage vaneless counter-rotating turbine (MVCRT) eliminates vanes between rotors, which reduces the weight and size of the turbine and avoids viscous losses associated with vanes pronouncedly. An aircraft engine employing such a turbine would have greater thrust to weight ratio and smaller specific fuel consumption. This paper presents the aerodynamic design philosophy and performance analysis of the MVCRTs for gas turbine engines by a case study. The case is about a 1/2*4 turbine, which consists of a rotating frame and four rotors without any vanes between them. The first rotor and the third rotor are connected by a shaft to drive a compressor with a pressure ratio of 11.8, and the second rotor and the fourth rotor are connected by the rotating frame to deliver a total shaft power of around 2 MW. The stage loading of each rotor and flow axial acceleration of each duct are controlled to provide sufficient inlet swirls for their subsequent rotors. The stage work coefficients of each rotor are 0.95, 2.9, 1.4, and 1.0, respectively. Nonuniform radial circulation distributions are also used to maximize the turbine power output. Centrifugal forces in the outer rotor of the turbine are captured by carrying out a finite element analysis (FEA) to validate the aerodynamic design results. Three-dimensional viscous numerical results show that an adiabatic total-to-total efficiency of 91.47% with a pressure ratio of 9.8 at design condition is obtained and achieves the initial design objective very well. Entropy creation associated with the tip leakage and secondary flow is also illustrated for understanding the origins and effects of losses in the turbine. Pressure ratios and efficiency at the speed combinations of the 80% to 100% inner and outer rotor design speeds are discussed to reveal the turbine characteristics at off-design conditions.

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Fig. 1

Schematic sketch of 1/2*4 CRT (1—R1, 2—R2, 3—rotating frame, 4—R3, 5—R4, 6—vaned diffuser, 7—power shaft, 8—compressor driven shaft)

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Fig. 2

Mach number triangles at mean line section of R1–R4

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Fig. 3

Schematic sketch of an annular disk

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Fig. 4

Radial variations of turbine inlet total temperature

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Fig. 5

Radial variations of circulation for the exit flow R1–R4

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Fig. 6

Mach number triangles at (a) hub and (b) tip sections for R1–R4

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Fig. 7

Schematic sketch of meridional flowpath

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Fig. 8

Blade profiles at tip, midspan, and root for (a) R1, (b) R2, (c) R3, and (d) R4

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Fig. 9

FEA model of the outer rotor. (a) A 1/9th sector of the full model and (b) mesh on the trailing edge.

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Fig. 10

Von Mises stress calculations in the outer rotor. (a) R2, (b) R4, (c) rotating frame, and (d) the 1/9th sector.

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Fig. 11

Mesh of the 1/2*4 turbine

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Fig. 12

Spanwise distributions of (a) relative exit Mach number and (b) relative exit flow angle for R1–R4

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Fig. 13

Mach number distributions at mean line sections for R1–R4

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Fig. 14

Blade surface static pressure distributions at mean line section. (a) R1, (b) R2, (c) R3, and (d) R4.

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Fig. 15

Static entropy distributions at the outlets of (a) R1, (b) R2, (c) R3, and (d) R4

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Fig. 16

Static entropy distributions overlapped secondary velocity vectors in (a) region A, (b) region B, (c) region C, and (d) region D

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Fig. 17

Variation of efficiency with pressure ratio for the 1/2*4 turbine

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Fig. 18

Streamlines at an 80–80% speed combination with a total pressure ratio of 8.4. (a) Streamlines for R1–R4, (b) flow separation of R2, and (c) flow separation of R3.




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