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The Application of Non-Axisymmetric Endwall Contouring in a 1½ Stage, Rotating Turbine

SNEDDEN, GLEN,CAMPBELL (2011) The Application of Non-Axisymmetric Endwall Contouring in a 1½ Stage, Rotating Turbine. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Thesis) - Accepted Version


Today gas turbines are a crucial part of the global power generation and aviation industries. Small improvements to the efficiencies of individual components within the gas flow path can, over time, lead to dramatic cost savings for the operator and at the same time improve on the amount of carbon dioxide gas emissions to the environment. One such technology is the reduction of secondary flow losses in individual blade rows within the compressor or turbine section of the gas turbine through the use of non-axisymmetric endwall contouring. By introducing subtle geometrical features onto the endwall it has been shown to be possible to improve the efficiency of individual blade rows by between 1 and 2%.
Few studies of these non-axisymmetric endwalls have been performed outside of the two dimensional cascade and computational domain, in addition these endwalls have been designed and tested to improve the performance of blade rows at a single design point with the off design performance having been ignored. The work presented here is aimed at investigating the use of such endwalls in a rotating blade row both at design and off-design conditions and in the presence of an upstream blade row. To this end a 1½ stage, low speed, turbine test rig has been refurbished and a new set of blades was designed to accommodate the profile of the Durham cascade at the hub. The Durham cascade is a de facto industry test case for non-axisymmetric endwall applications and therefore a generic, cascade proven, endwall design is available from the literature. The design of this new blade set is unique in that it is openly available.
The results include steady-state 5-hole pressure probe measurements between blade rows and computational fluid dynamics solutions to provide detailed analysis of the flow quality found within the turbine. These results are reproduced for a turbine with annular or reference endwalls and one with the generic P2 endwall design obtained from the Durham cascade.
Experimentally a 1.5% improvement in mixed out stage efficiency at the design condition has been found with a positive trend with increasing load. Additionally the rotor exit flows are show to be generally more uniform in the presence of profiled endwalls. The rotor torque is however reduced by as much as 3.5% and the improved flow uniformity does not always translate into a improved performance in the downstream row.
Insight into the overall performance and fluid mechanics of the generic non-axisymmetric endwall at a variety of load conditions has been gained and an analysis of the parameters commonly used in optimising these endwalls is discussed with Cske being clearly shown to be the superior parameter in this case. CFD evidence suggests that while the cross passage pressure gradient is reduced by endwall profiling the extent of the effect of the change in hub endwalls reaches as far as the tip. The mechanism by which the overall loss is reduced appears to be a through a change in the relative strengths of the suction and pressure side horseshoe vortices and through the delayed migration of the passage cross flow, this change the relationship of these two vortex structures; dispersing the vortex structures as they leave the row and reducing the potential for mixing losses downstream.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of (2008-2017)
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 Jan 2012 11:20

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