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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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2013