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

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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

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

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Experimental study of the flow field in a model 1.5-stage gas turbine rotor-stator disk cavity

Description

A major concern in the operation of present-day gas turbine engines is the ingestion of hot mainstream gas into rotor-stator disk cavities of the high-pressure turbine stages. Although the engines

A major concern in the operation of present-day gas turbine engines is the ingestion of hot mainstream gas into rotor-stator disk cavities of the high-pressure turbine stages. Although the engines require high gas temperature at turbine entry for good performance efficiency, the ingested gas shortens the lives of the cavity internals, particularly that of the rotor disks. Steps such as installing seals at the disk rims and injecting purge (secondary) air bled from the compressor discharge into the cavities are implemented to reduce the gas ingestion. Although there are advantages to the above-mentioned steps, the performance of a gas turbine engine is diminished by the purge air bleed-off. This then requires that the cavity sealing function be achieved with as low a purge air supply rate as possible. This, in turn, renders imperative an in-depth understanding of the pressure and velocity fields in the main gas path and within the disk cavities. In this work, experiments were carried out in a model 1.5-stage (stator-rotor-stator) axial air turbine to study the ingestion of main air into the aft, rotor-stator, disk cavity. The cavity featured rotor and stator rim seals with radial clearance and axial overlap and an inner labyrinth seal. First, time-average static pressure distribution was measured in the main gas path upstream and downstream of the rotor as well as in the cavity to ensure that a nominally steady run condition had been achieved. Main gas ingestion was determined by measuring the concentration distribution of tracer gas (CO2) in the cavity. To map the cavity fluid velocity field, particle image velocimetry was employed. Results are reported for two main air flow rates, two rotor speeds, and four purge air flow rates.

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  • 2010