Research Papers

Stall, Surge, and 75 Years of Research

[+] Author and Article Information
I. J. Day

Whittle Laboratory,
University of Cambridge,
1 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge CB3 0DY, UK
e-mail: ijd1000@cam.ac.uk

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received August 20, 2015; final manuscript received August 25, 2015; published online October 13, 2015. Editor: Kenneth C. Hall.

J. Turbomach 138(1), 011001 (Oct 13, 2015) (16 pages) Paper No: TURBO-15-1185; doi: 10.1115/1.4031473 History: Received August 20, 2015; Revised August 25, 2015

Work on rotating stall and its related disturbances have been in progress since the Second World War. During this period, certain “hot topics” have come to the fore—mostly in response to pressing problems associated with new engine designs. This paper will take a semihistorical look at some of these fields of study (stall, surge, active control, rotating instabilities, etc.) and will examine the ideas which underpin each topic. Good progress can be reported, but the paper will not be an unrestricted celebration of our successes because, after 75 years of research, we are still unable to predict the stalling behavior of a new compressor or to contribute much to the design of a more stall-resistant machine. Looking forward from where we are today, it is clear that future developments will come from CFD in the form of better performance predictions, better flow modeling, and improved interpretation of experimental results. It is also clear that future experimental work will be most effective when focussed on real compressors with real problems—such as stage matching, large tip clearances, eccentricity, and service life degradation. Today’s topics of interest are mostly associated with compressible effects and so further research will require more high-speed testing.

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Fig. 1

Typical fixed-speed performance characteristic for an axial flow compressor

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Fig. 2

Picture of part-span stall from Ref. [5]

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Fig. 3

Pictures explaining stall propagation based on early work by Emmons et al. [9]

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Fig. 4

Parallel compressor model as proposed by McKenzie [17]. Note the pressure rise in stall is 0.15 times the number of stages, and the portion of the annulus occupied by stalled flow is (D − B)/(D − C).

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Fig. 5

Pressure rise characteristics of two compressors of different designs

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Fig. 7

The effect of various compressor details on stall cell speed

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Fig. 8

Centrifugal and axial compressor characteristics illustrating the difference in pressure level after stall has occurred

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Fig. 9

Comparison of the performance of the C106 and the Greitzer compressors—from Ref. [27]. Bcrit = 0.4 for the C106 compressor and 0.8 for the Greitzer compressor.

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Fig. 10

Axisymmetric characteristic with cubic center section

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Fig. 11

First-stage characteristics showing extended range of stable operating when support is provided by mismatched rear stages (Longley and Hynes [36])

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Fig. 12

Schematic illustration of the effects of active control on compressor performance (Epstein et al. [37])

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Fig. 13

Hot-wire measurements around circumference of compressor showing modal activity before stall. (Model oscillations can be seen between revolutions 7 and 17 [44].)

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Fig. 14

Hot-wire measurements around circumference of compressor showing spike-type stall inception. A small disturbance appears without warning, at revolution 17 [44].

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Fig. 15

Plot showing rise in blade-passing irregularity as flow coefficient is reduced—for eccentric compressor (Young et al. [68])

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Fig. 16

Frequency spectrum from a compressor operating in a condition where rotating instability is present [68]

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Fig. 17

Illustration of tornado-type stall propagation. (From Ref. [71].)

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Fig. 18

Plot showing areas of low-static pressure (dark spots) in an eccentric compressor. Disturbances appear in large clearance region only. From Ref. [68]. (NB the above datasets were not recorded simultaneously, so disturbance tracking is not possible in this figure.)

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Fig. 19

Sketch from Ref. [11] showing an interpassage radial vortex during stall propagation

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Fig. 20

Schematic of over-tip recirculation loop (from Ref. [85])

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Fig. 21

Sketch of the two conditions required for spike-type stall inception; forward and rearward spillage

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Fig. 22

Schematic showing how leading edge separation becomes a vortical disturbance. From Ref. [97].




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