Research Papers

J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101001-101001-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040934.

In this two-part paper, the investigation of condensation in the impeller of radial turbines is discussed. In Paper I, a solution strategy for the investigation of condensation in radial turbines using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods is presented. In Paper II, the investigation methodology is applied to a radial turbine type series that is used for waste heat recovery. First, the basic CFD approach for the calculation of the gas-droplet-liquid-film flow is introduced. Thereafter, the equations connecting the subparts are explained and a validation of the models is performed. Finally, in Paper I, condensation phenomena for a selected radial turbine impeller are discussed on a qualitative basis. Paper II continues with a detailed quantitative analyses. The aim of Paper I is to explain the models that are necessary to study condensation in radial turbines and to validate the implementation against available experiments conducted on isolated effects. This study aims to develop a procedure that is applicable for investigation of condensation in radial turbines. Furthermore, the main processes occurring in a radial turbine once the steam temperature is below the saturation temperature are explained and analyzed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101002-101002-7. doi:10.1115/1.4040935.

In the second part of this two part paper, the condensation process and the movement of the liquid phase near the impeller blades of a radial turbine are studied. The investigation methodology presented in part 1 is applied to a radial turbine type series used for waste heat recovery. First, the subcooling necessary for the beginning of the condensation process is examined and a relationship between the location of maximum subcooling and the onset of droplet deposition at the surfaces of the turbine impeller is determined. Thereafter, the movement of liquid films on the impeller blades is analysed and characterized. Correlations determining the movement of droplets originating from liquid film atomization on the edge of the impeller blade along the casing are derived. Finally, conclusions are drawn depicting the most important findings of condensing flows in radial turbines.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101003-101003-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040094.

The paper investigates the effect of nonequilibrium behavior of boundary layers on the profile loss of a compressor. The investigation is undertaken using both high fidelity simulations of a midheight section of a compressor blade and a reduced order model, MISES. The solutions are validated using experimental measurements made in the embedded stage of a multistage low speed compressor. The paper shows that up to 35% of the suction surface boundary layer of the compressor blade exhibits nonequilibrium behavior. The size of this region reduces as the Reynolds number is increased. The nonequilibrium behavior was found to reduce profile loss in cases of attached transition and raise loss where transition occurs through separation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101004-101004-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041141.

The influences of blade loading profile on wake convection and wake/wake interaction were studied in two different blade designs for high-pressure (HP) turbines (front-loaded (FL) and aft-loaded (AL)), installed in linear cascades. A high-speed moving bar (HSMB) apparatus replicated wake shedding, and a closed loop wind tunnel produced engine-relevant Mach numbers (Ma = 0.7) and Reynolds numbers (Re = 3 × 105). The FL blades had approximately 10% greater total pressure loss when operated with unsteady wake passage. Phase conditioned particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements were made in the aft portion of the blade channel and downstream of the blade trailing edge. The turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) in the wake was approximately 30% higher for the FL blades when the wake entered the measurement field-of-view. The pressure field in the upstream region of the FL blade design is believed to induce high magnitude strain rates—leading to increased TKE production—and more aggressively turn and dilate the unmixed wake—leading to increased mixing related losses. The higher TKE for the FL blades largely dissipated, being approximately equal to the AL wake by the time the wake reached the end of the blade passage. The interaction of the convected wake with the wake from the blade trailing edge caused periodic vortex shedding at the second harmonic of the convected wake frequency. This interaction also modulated the strength of the trailing edge wake. However, little difference was found in the modulation amplitudes between different cases due to similar strengths of the convected wakes in this region. The higher wake TKE in the upstream portion of the blade channel for the FL blades, therefore, is expected to be the cause of the higher total pressure loss.

Topics: Wakes , Blades , Convection
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101005-101005-11. doi:10.1115/1.4041450.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been widely adopted in the compressor design process, but it remains a challenge to predict the flow details, performance, and stage matching for multistage, high-speed machines accurately. The Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulation with mixing plane for bladerow coupling is still the workhorse in the industry and the unsteady bladerow interaction is discarded. This paper examines these discarded unsteady effects via deterministic fluxes using semi-analytical and unsteady RANS (URANS) calculations. The study starts from a planar duct under periodic perturbations. The study shows that under large perturbations, the mixing plane produces dubious values of flow quantities (e.g., whirl angle). The performance of the mixing plane can be considerably improved by including deterministic fluxes into the mixing plane formulation. This demonstrates the effect of deterministic fluxes at the bladerow interface. Furthermore, the front stages of a 19-blade row compressor are investigated and URANS solutions are compared with RANS mixing plane solutions. The magnitudes of divergence of Reynolds stresses (RS) and deterministic stresses (DS) are compared. The effect of deterministic fluxes is demonstrated on whirl angle and radial profiles of total pressure and so on. The enhanced spanwise mixing due to deterministic fluxes is also observed. The effect of deterministic fluxes is confirmed via the nonlinear harmonic (NLH) method which includes the deterministic fluxes in the mean flow, and the study of multistage compressor shows that unsteady effects, which are quantified by deterministic fluxes, are indispensable to have credible predictions of the flow details and performance of compressor even at its design stage.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101006-101006-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040998.

Accurate predictions of unsteady forcing on turbine blades are essential for the avoidance of high-cycle-fatigue issues during turbine engine development. Further, if one can demonstrate that predictions of unsteady interaction in a turbine are accurate, then it becomes possible to anticipate resonant-stress problems and mitigate them through aerodynamic design changes during the development cycle. A successful reduction in unsteady forcing for a transonic turbine with significant shock interactions due to downstream components is presented here. A pair of methods to reduce the unsteadiness was considered and rigorously analyzed using a three-dimensional (3D), time-resolved Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solver. The first method relied on the physics of shock reflections itself and involved altering the stacking of downstream components to achieve a bowed airfoil. The second method considered was circumferentially asymmetric vane spacing which is well known to spread the unsteadiness due to vane-blade interaction over a range of frequencies. Both methods of forcing reduction were analyzed separately and predicted to reduce unsteady pressures on the blade as intended. Then, both design changes were implemented together in a transonic turbine experiment and successfully shown to manipulate the blade unsteadiness in keeping with the design-level predictions. This demonstration was accomplished through comparisons of measured time-resolved pressures on the turbine blade to others obtained in a baseline experiment that included neither asymmetric spacing nor bowing of the downstream vane. The measured data were further compared to rigorous post-test simulations of the complete turbine annulus including a bowed downstream vane of nonuniform pitch.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101007-101007-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041218.

Large eddy simulations (LES) were performed to investigate film cooling of a flat plate, where the cooling jets issued from a plenum through one row of circular holes of diameter D and length 4.7D that are inclined at 35 deg relative to the plate. The focus is on understanding the turbulent structure of the film-cooling jet and the film-cooling effectiveness. Parameters studied include blowing ratio (BR = 0.5 and 1.0) and density ratio (DR = 1.1 and 1.6). Also, two different boundary layers (BL) upstream of the film-cooling hole were investigated—one in which a laminar BL was tripped to become turbulent from near the leading edge of the flat plate, and another in which a mean turbulent BL is prescribed directly. The wall-resolved LES solutions generated were validated by comparing its time-averaged values with data from PIV and thermal measurements. Results obtained show that having an upstream BL that does not have turbulent fluctuations enhances the cooling effectiveness significantly at low velocity ratios (VR) when compared to an upstream BL that resolved the turbulent fluctuations. However, these differences diminish at higher VRs. Instantaneous flow reveals a bifurcation in the jet vorticity as it exits the hole at low VRs, one branch forming the shear-layer vortex, while the other forms the counter-rotating vortex pair (CRVP). At higher VRs, the shear layer vorticity is found to reverse direction, changing the nature of the turbulence and the heat transfer. Results obtained also show the strength and structure of the turbulence in the film-cooling jet to be strongly correlated to VR.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Turbomach. 2018;140(10):101008-101008-11. doi:10.1115/1.4041268.

Machine learning was applied to large-eddy simulation (LES) data to develop nonlinear turbulence stress and heat flux closures with increased prediction accuracy for trailing-edge cooling slot cases. The LES data were generated for a thick and a thin trailing-edge slot and shown to agree well with experimental data, thus providing suitable training data for model development. A gene expression programming (GEP) based algorithm was used to symbolically regress novel nonlinear explicit algebraic stress models and heat-flux closures based on either the gradient diffusion or the generalized gradient diffusion approaches. Steady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) calculations were then conducted with the new explicit algebraic stress models. The best overall agreement with LES data was found when selecting the near wall region, where high levels of anisotropy exist, as training region, and using the mean squared error of the anisotropy tensor as cost function. For the thin lip geometry, the adiabatic wall effectiveness was predicted in good agreement with the LES and experimental data when combining the GEP-trained model with the standard eddy-diffusivity model. Crucially, the same model combination also produced significant improvement in the predictive accuracy of adiabatic wall effectiveness for different blowing ratios (BRs), despite not having seen those in the training process. For the thick lip case, the match with reference values deteriorated due to the presence of large-scale, relative to slot height, vortex shedding. A GEP-trained scalar flux model, in conjunction with a trained RANS model, was found to significantly improve the prediction of the adiabatic wall effectiveness.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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