Research Papers

On the Coupling of Designer Experience and Modularity in the Aerothermal Design of Turbomachinery

[+] Author and Article Information
Jerome P. Jarrett, Tiziano Ghisu, Geoffrey T. Parks

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK

J. Turbomach 131(3), 031018 (Apr 20, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2992513 History: Received June 27, 2008; Revised July 25, 2008; Published April 20, 2009

The turbomachinery aerodynamic design process is characterized both by its complexity and the reliance on designer experience for success. Complexity has led to the design being decomposed into modules; the specification of their interfaces is a key outcome of preliminary design and locks-in much of the final performance of the machine. Yet preliminary design is often heavily influenced by previous experience. While modularity makes the design tractable, it complicates the appropriate specification of the module interfaces to maximize whole-system performance: coupling of modularity and designer experience may reduce performance. This paper sets out to examine how such a deficit might occur and to quantify its cost in terms of efficiency. Two disincentives for challenging decomposition decisions are discussed. The first is where tried-and-tested engineering “rules of thumb” accord between modules: the rational engineer will find alluring a situation where each module can be specified in a way that maximizes its efficiency in isolation. The second is where there is discontinuity in modeling fidelity, and hence difficulty in accurately assessing performance exchange rates between modules. In order to both quantify and reduce the potential cost of this coupling, we have recast the design problem in such a way that what were previously module interface constraints become key system design variables. An example application of our method to the design of a generic turbofan core compression system is introduced. It is shown that nearly one percentage point of the equivalent compressor adiabatic efficiency can be saved.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of a LPC/duct/HPC system

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Figure 2

Donor LPC geometry (10)

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Figure 3

Exchange rate curve of the design exit Mach number versus the LPC adiabatic efficiency

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Figure 4

2D CFD computational grid

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Figure 5

Duct exit stagnation pressure: 2D CFD comparison with experiment and commercial CFD (partially reproduced from Ref. 18)

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Figure 6

Inner and outer duct wall static pressures: 2D CFD comparison with the experiment (partially reproduced from Ref. 18)

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Figure 7

Duct separation boundaries

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Figure 8

Locations of duct endwall separations

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Figure 9

Redesigned duct separation boundaries

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Figure 10

T-s Diagram of the LPC/duct system

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Figure 11

Duct stagnation pressure loss (%)

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Figure 12

Exchange rate curve for the LPC/duct combined module



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