Research Papers

Effect of Combustor Swirl on Transonic High Pressure Turbine Efficiency

[+] Author and Article Information
Paul F. Beard, Thomas Povey

Department of Engineering Science,
University of Oxford,
Parks Road,
Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK

Andy D. Smith

Turbine Systems,
Rolls-Royce plc,
Moor Lane,
PCF-1, P.O. Box 31,
Derby DE24 8BJ, UK

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the Journal of Turbomachinery. Manuscript received June 8, 2012; final manuscript received March 25, 2013; published online September 20, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Kenichiro Takeishi.

J. Turbomach 136(1), 011002 (Sep 20, 2013) (12 pages) Paper No: TURBO-12-1064; doi: 10.1115/1.4024841 History: Received June 08, 2012; Revised March 25, 2013

This paper presents an experimental and computational study of the effect of inlet swirl on the efficiency of a transonic turbine stage. The efficiency penalty is approximately 1%, but it is argued that this could be recovered by correct design. There are attendant changes in capacity, work function, and stage total-to-total pressure ratio, which are discussed in detail. Experiments were performed using the unshrouded MT1 high-pressure turbine installed in the Oxford Turbine Research Facility (OTRF) (formerly at QinetiQ Farnborough): an engine scale, short duration, rotating transonic facility, in which M, Re, Tgas/Twall, and N/T01 are matched to engine conditions. The research was conducted under the EU Turbine Aero-Thermal External Flows (TATEF II) program. Turbine efficiency was experimentally determined to within bias and precision uncertainties of approximately ±1.4% and ±0.2%, respectively, to 95% confidence. The stage mass flow rate was metered upstream of the turbine nozzle, and the turbine power was measured directly using an accurate strain-gauge based torque measurement system. The turbine efficiency was measured experimentally for a condition with uniform inlet flow and a condition with pronounced inlet swirl. Full stage computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was performed using the Rolls-Royce Hydra solver. Steady and unsteady solutions were conducted for both the uniform inlet baseline case and a case with inlet swirl. The simulations are largely in agreement with the experimental results. A discussion of discrepancies is given.

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Fig. 1

The Oxford Turbine Research Facility

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Fig. 3

Area-surveys results of stage inlet total pressure: (a) without and (b) with inlet swirl generation

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Fig. 2

(a) Measured swirl vector at HP vane inlet in the OTRF (vectors scaled by secondary velocity magnitude); (b) measured HP vane inlet whirl angles at 10%, 50%, and 90% span

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Fig. 7

Predicted radial changes in vane profile loss coefficient and turbine efficiency with inlet swirl

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Fig. 4

Area-survey results of total pressure at rotor exit: (a) near plane p03 and (b) far plane p04

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Fig. 5

Vane and rotor computational meshes

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Fig. 6

Vane surface isentropic Mach number distributions with and without inlet swirl

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Fig. 8

Measured capacity of modern HP vane [28]

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Fig. 9

Calculated radial changes in work function with inlet swirl

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Fig. 10

Measured and predicted changes in NGV isentropic Mach number distributions at 10%, 50%, and 90% span

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Fig. 11

Predicted change in total pressure loss coefficient at vane exit with inlet swirl

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Fig. 12

Predicted change in vane exit conditions with inlet swirl and effect on work function

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Fig. 13

Predicted changes in rotor inlet relative conditions with inlet swirl



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