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Experimental study of main gas ingestion and purge gas egress flow in model gas turbine stages

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Efficient performance of gas turbines depends, among several parameters, on the mainstream gas entry temperature. At the same time, transport of this high temperature gas into the rotor-stator cavities of turbine stages affects the durability of rotor disks. This transport

Efficient performance of gas turbines depends, among several parameters, on the mainstream gas entry temperature. At the same time, transport of this high temperature gas into the rotor-stator cavities of turbine stages affects the durability of rotor disks. This transport is usually countered by installing seals on the rotor and stator disk rims and by pressurizing the cavities by injecting air (purge gas) bled from the compressor discharge. The configuration of the rim seals influences the magnitude of main gas ingestion as well as the interaction of the purge gas with the main gas. The latter has aerodynamic and hub endwall heat transfer implications in the main gas path. In the present work, experiments were performed on model single-stage and 1.5-stage axial-flow turbines. The turbines featured vanes, blades, and rim seals on both the rotor and stator disks. Three different rim seal geometries, viz., axially overlapping radial clearance rim seals for the single-stage turbine cavity and the 1.5-stage turbine aft cavity, and a rim seal with angular clearance for the single-stage turbine cavity were studied. In the single-stage turbine, an inner seal radially inboard in the cavity was also provided; this effectively divided the disk cavity into a rim cavity and an inner cavity. For the aft rotor-stator cavity of the 1.5-stage turbine, a labyrinth seal was provided radially inboard, again creating a rim cavity and an inner cavity. Measurement results of time-average main gas ingestion into the cavities using tracer gas (CO2), and ensemble-averaged trajectories of the purge gas flowing out through the rim seal gap into the main gas path using particle image velocimetry are presented. For both turbines, significant ingestion occurred only in the rim cavity. The inner cavity was almost completely sealed by the inner seal, at all purge gas flow rates for the single-stage turbine and at the higher purge gas flow rates for 1.5-stage turbine. Purge gas egress trajectory was found to depend on main gas and purge gas flow rates, the rim seal configuration, and the azimuthal location of the trajectory mapping plane with respect to the vanes.

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Date Created
2010

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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