Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experimental study of complex flow and turbulence structure around a turbomachine rotor blade operating behind a row of Inlet Guide Vanes (IGVS)
by Soranna, Francesco, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2008, 203; 3309809
Abstract (Summary)

The flow and turbulence around a rotor blade operating downstream of a row of Inlet Guide Vanes (IGV) are investigated experimentally in a refractive index matched turbomachinery facility that provides unobstructed view of the entire flow field. High resolution 2D and Stereoscopic PIV measurements are performed both at midspan and in the tip region of the rotor blade, focusing on effects of wake-blade, wake-boundary-layer and wake-wake interactions. We first examine the modification to the shape of an IGV-wake as well as to the spatial distribution of turbulence within it as the wake propagates along the rotor blade. Due to the spatially non-uniform velocity distribution, the IGV wake deforms through the rotor passage, expanding near the leading edge and shrinking near the trailing edge. The turbulence within this wake becomes spatially non-uniform and highly anisotropic as a result of interaction with the non-uniform strain rate field within the rotor passage. Several mechanisms, which are associated with rapid straining and highly non-uniform production rate (P), including negative production on the suction side of the blade, contribute to the observed trends.

During IGV-wake impingement, the suction side boundary layer near the trailing edge becomes significantly thinner, with lower momentum thickness and more stable profile compared to other phases at the same location. Analysis of available terms in the integral momentum equation indicates that the phase-averaged unsteady term is the main contributor to the decrease in momentum thickness within the impinging wake. Thinning of the boundary/shear layer extends into the rotor near wake, making it narrower and increasing the phase averaged shear velocity gradients and associated production term just downstream of the trailing edge. Consequently, the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) increases causing as much as 75% phase-dependent variations in peak TKE magnitude.

Further away from the blade, the rotor wake is bent and contracted as a result of exposure to regions with high axial momentum (‘jets’) which fill the gaps between IGV-wakes. On the suction side of the rotor wake, contraction by the jet enhances the shear velocity gradients, and, with them, the shear production term, the dominant source of turbulence. Consequently, the Reynolds stresses and turbulent kinetic energy profiles become asymmetric across the rotor wake, with peak values located on the suction side, coinciding with the region of peak production. As the rotor wake propagates away from the blade, the process of bending and contraction by the jets continues, leading to formation of distinct wake-kinks containing regions of high turbulence, which we have coined turbulent ‘hot spots’.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Katz, Joseph
School: The Johns Hopkins University
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-B 69/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanics, Aerospace engineering, Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Complex flows, Complex turbulence, Rotor-stator interactions, Turbomachinery, Wake-blade interactions, Wake-wake interactions
Publication Number: 3309809
ISBN: 978-0-549-57838-3
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