Variability in stator vanes is a widely used technique to improve the stability and efficiency of axial flow compressor in gas turbine engines. Most of the modern aircraft jet engines use variable stator vanes in both low pressure and high pressure compressors primarily for off-design performance. This study discusses in detail about the effect of stator variability in a three stage low pressure axial compressor at design and off-design conditions. Computational flow analysis were carried out for the three stage low pressure compressor with variability in inlet guide vane and first stage stator blade. Detailed investigation on flow physics was carried out in rotor blade passages with stator variability. At off-design speeds, the reduction in flow velocity is lower than the reduction in blade tip speed. This leads to mismatch in flow angles and inlet blade angles causing high incidence and large flow separation in blade passage. This results in poor aerodynamic stability of the axial compressor at off-design speeds. In this study, aerodynamic performance of compressor is evaluated from 70% to 100% design speeds with different stagger angle setting of inlet guide vane at each speed. Further, to improve 2nd stage rotor performance, variability was introduced in 1st stage stator blade and performance was evaluated. Compressor test results are compared with CFD data for design and off-design speeds.

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