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

Description

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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2010

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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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2013