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Experimental study of pressure and main gas ingestion distributions in a model rotor-stator disk cavity

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Ingestion of high temperature mainstream gas into the rotor-stator cavities of a gas turbine is one of the major problems faced by the turbine designers. The ingested gas heats up rotor disks and induces higher thermal stresses on them, giving

Ingestion of high temperature mainstream gas into the rotor-stator cavities of a gas turbine is one of the major problems faced by the turbine designers. The ingested gas heats up rotor disks and induces higher thermal stresses on them, giving rise to durability concern. Ingestion is usually reduced by installing seals on the rotor and stator rims and by purging the disk cavity by secondary air bled from the compressor discharge. The geometry of the rim seals and the secondary air flow rate, together, influence the amount of gas that gets ingested into the cavities. Since the amount of secondary air bled off has a negative effect on the gas turbine thermal efficiency, one goal is to use the least possible amount of secondary air. This requires a good understanding of the flow and ingestion fields within a disk cavity. In the present study, the mainstream gas ingestion phenomenon has been experimentally studied in a model single-stage axial flow gas turbine. The turbine stage featured vanes and blades, and rim seals on both the rotor and stator. Additionally, the disk cavity contained a labyrinth seal radially inboard which effectively divided the cavity into a rim cavity and an inner cavity. Time-average static pressure measurements were obtained at various radial positions within the disk cavity, and in the mainstream gas path at three axial locations at the outer shroud spread circumferentially over two vane pitches. The time-average static pressure in the main gas path exhibited a periodic asymmetry following the vane pitch whose amplitude diminished with increasing distance from the vane trailing edge. The static pressure distribution increased with the secondary air flow rate within the inner cavity but was found to be almost independent of it in the rim cavity. Tracer gas (CO2) concentration measurements were conducted to determine the sealing effectiveness of the rim seals against main gas ingestion. For the rim cavity, the sealing effectiveness increased with the secondary air flow rate. Within the inner cavity however, this trend reversed -this may have been due to the presence of rotating low-pressure flow structures inboard of the labyrinth seal.

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2013

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Characterization of ingestion through the rim seal of rotor-stator disk cavity in a subscale single-stage axial turbine

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In order to achieve higher gas turbine efficiency, the main gas temperature at turbine inlet has been steadily increased from approximately 900°C to about 1500°C over the last few decades. This temperature is higher than the maximum acceptable temperature for

In order to achieve higher gas turbine efficiency, the main gas temperature at turbine inlet has been steadily increased from approximately 900°C to about 1500°C over the last few decades. This temperature is higher than the maximum acceptable temperature for turbine internals. The hot main gas may get ingested into the space between rotor and stator, the rotor-stator disk cavity in a stage because of the pressure differential between main gas annulus and the disk cavity. To reduce this ingestion, the disk cavity is equipped with a rim seal; additionally, secondary (purge) air is supplied to the cavity. Since the purge air is typically bled off the compressor discharge, this reducing the overall gas turbine efficiency, much research has been carried out to estimate the minimum purge flow necessary (cw,min) for complete sealing of disk cavities.

In this work, experiments have been performed in a subscale single-stage axial turbine featuring vanes, blades and an axially-overlapping radial-clearance seal at the disk cavity rim. The turbine stage is also equipped with a labyrinth seal radially inboard. The stage geometry and the experimental conditions were such that the ingestion into the disk cavity was driven by the pressure asymmetry in the main gas annulus. In the experiments, time-averaged static pressure was measured at several locations in the main annulus and in the disk cavity; the pressure differential between a location on the vane platform close to lip (this being the rim seal part on the stator) and a location in the 'seal region' in the cavity is considered to be the driving potential for both ingestion and egress. Time-averaged volumetric concentration of the tracer gas (CO2) in the purge air supplied was measured at multiple radial locations on the stator surface. The pressure and ingestion data were then used to calculate the ingestion and egress discharge coefficients for a range of purge flow rates, employing a simple orifice model of the rim seal. For the experiments performed, the egress discharge coefficient increased and the ingestion discharge coefficient decreased with the purge air flow rate. A method for estimation of cw,min is also proposed.

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Date Created
2014

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Experimental study of the flow field in a model rotor-stator disk cavity using particle image velocimetry

Description

Modern day gas turbine designers face the problem of hot mainstream gas ingestion into rotor-stator disk cavities. To counter this ingestion, seals are installed on the rotor and stator disk rims and purge air, bled off from the compressor, is

Modern day gas turbine designers face the problem of hot mainstream gas ingestion into rotor-stator disk cavities. To counter this ingestion, seals are installed on the rotor and stator disk rims and purge air, bled off from the compressor, is injected into the cavities. It is desirable to reduce the supply of purge air as this decreases the net power output as well as efficiency of the gas turbine. Since the purge air influences the disk cavity flow field and effectively the amount of ingestion, the aim of this work was to study the cavity velocity field experimentally using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Experiments were carried out in a model single-stage axial flow turbine set-up that featured blades as well as vanes, with purge air supplied at the hub of the rotor-stator disk cavity. Along with the rotor and stator rim seals, an inner labyrinth seal was provided which split the disk cavity into a rim cavity and an inner cavity. First, static gage pressure distribution was measured to ensure that nominally steady flow conditions had been achieved. The PIV experiments were then performed to map the velocity field on the radial-tangential plane within the rim cavity at four axial locations. Instantaneous velocity maps obtained by PIV were analyzed sector-by-sector to understand the rim cavity flow field. It was observed that the tangential velocity dominated the cavity flow at low purge air flow rate, its dominance decreasing with increase in the purge air flow rate. Radially inboard of the rim cavity, negative radial velocity near the stator surface and positive radial velocity near the rotor surface indicated the presence of a recirculation region in the cavity whose radial extent increased with increase in the purge air flow rate. Qualitative flow streamline patterns are plotted within the rim cavity for different experimental conditions by combining the PIV map information with ingestion measurements within the cavity as reported in Thiagarajan (2013).

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Date Created
2013

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Detailed validation assessment of turbine stage disc cavity rotating flows

Description

The subject of this thesis is concerned with the amount of cooling air assigned to seal high pressure turbine rim cavities which is critical for performance as well as component life. Insufficient air leads to excessive hot annulus gas ingestion

The subject of this thesis is concerned with the amount of cooling air assigned to seal high pressure turbine rim cavities which is critical for performance as well as component life. Insufficient air leads to excessive hot annulus gas ingestion and its penetration deep into the cavity compromising disc life. Excessive purge air, adversely affects performance. Experiments on a rotating turbine stage rig which included a rotor-stator forward disc cavity were performed at Arizona State University. The turbine rig has 22 vanes and 28 blades, while the rim cavity is composed of a single-tooth rim lab seal and a rim platform overlap seal. Time-averaged static pressures were measured in the gas path and the cavity, while mainstream gas ingestion into the cavity was determined by measuring the concentration distribution of tracer gas (carbon dioxide). Additionally, particle image velocimetry (PIV) was used to measure fluid velocity inside the rim cavity between the lab seal and the overlap. The data from the experiments were compared to an 360-degree unsteady RANS (URANS) CFD simulations. Although not able to match the time-averaged test data satisfactorily, the CFD simulations brought to light the unsteadiness present in the flow during the experiment which the slower response data did not fully capture. To interrogate the validity of URANS simulations in capturing complex rotating flow physics, the scope of this work also included to validating the CFD tool by comparing its predictions against experimental LDV data in a closed rotor-stator cavity. The enclosed cavity has a stationary shroud, a rotating hub, and mass flow does not enter or exit the system. A full 360 degree numerical simulation was performed comparing Fluent LES, with URANS turbulence models. Results from these investigations point to URANS state of art under-predicting closed cavity tangential velocity by 32% to 43%, and open rim cavity effectiveness by 50% compared to test data. The goal of this thesis is to assess the validity of URANS turbulence models in more complex rotating flows, compare accuracy with LES simulations, suggest CFD settings to better simulate turbine stage mainstream/disc cavity interaction with ingestion, and recommend experimentation techniques.

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Date Created
2016