Research Papers

Predictions of Turbulent Flow for the Impeller of a NASA Low-Speed Centrifugal Compressor

[+] Author and Article Information
K. M. Guleren1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, 58140, Turkeymelihguleren@cumhuriyet.edu.tr

I. Afgan

Institute of Avionics and Aeronautical Engineering, Air University, Sector E-9, Islamabad, 44200, Pakistan

A. Turan

School of MACE, University of Manchester, George Begg Building, Sackville Street, P.O. Box 88, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK


Corresponding author.

J. Turbomach 132(2), 021005 (Jan 11, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3140824 History: Received June 19, 2007; Revised February 06, 2008; Published January 11, 2010; Online January 11, 2010

The turbulent flow inside a low-speed centrifugal compressor at design condition is investigated using large-eddy simulation (LES) comprising of up to 26×106 computational volume cells. Unlike in the past, the current study’s special emphasis is placed on the turbulence field evolution inside the impeller. LES predictions suggest that the Boussinesq hypothesis does not seem to be valid, especially near the exit of the impeller where the blade unloading takes place. Reynolds stress variations show a tendency toward an “axisymmetric expansion” type of turbulence after the impeller exit for which the subgrid-scale stress contribution shows a monotonic decrease. Probability density function analysis for the leakage flow show that instantaneous velocities in the wake region are less intermittent as compared with those in the jet. Time spectra analysis display also another feature that the energy cascade proceeds at a higher rate and lasts longer in the wake region than in the tip jet region.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Three-dimensional view of the LSCC blade passage

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Figure 2

Coarse grid distribution on the meridional plane (a) and on the cross-sectional plane (b)

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Figure 3

Time (a) and grid resolution (b) of LES study for LSCC

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Figure 4

Meridional velocity comparisons for LES cases at 50% (a) and at 90% (b) span form the hub

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Figure 5

Meridional velocity variation and reverse flow mechanism near the impeller exit: (a) 30% pitch from PS and (b) 50% pitch from the PS

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Figure 6

Normalized turbulent kinetic energy distribution at cross-sectional planes: mi/m=0.149 (a), mi/m=0.475 (b), mi/m=0.644 (c), and mi/m=0.921 (d)

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Figure 7

Meridional velocity gradient (a), meridional normal stresses (b), and production of turbulence (c) at midpitch

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Figure 8

Turbulence intensity variation (left y-axis) shown with open symbols and contribution of SGS viscosity (right y-axis) shown with filled symbols

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Figure 9

Reynolds stress anisotropy variation



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