Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Oil and Gas Applications

Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Fouling on Axial Compressor Stages

[+] Author and Article Information
Mirko Morini, Michele Pinelli, Pier Ruggero Spina, Mauro Venturini

Engineering Department in Ferrara (ENDIF), University of Ferrara, Via Saragat 1, 44122-Ferrara, Italy

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 132(7), 072401 (Apr 08, 2010) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000128 History: Received April 09, 2009; Revised April 10, 2009; Published April 08, 2010; Online April 08, 2010

Three-dimensional numerical simulations of the effect of fouling on an axial compressor stage were carried out. As a case study, the NASA Stage 37 was considered for the numerical investigation, which was performed by means of a commercial computational fluid dynamic code. The numerical model was validated against the experimental data available from literature. Computed performance maps and main flow field features showed a good agreement with the experimental data. The model was considered representative of a realistic compressor stage. The model was then used to simulate the occurrence of fouling by imposing different combinations of added thickness and surface roughness levels. The effect of fouling on compressor performances was studied. Reductions in the flow coefficient and in the pressure coefficient were found to be of the same order of magnitude of the experimental results found in literature. The model developed seems to overcome some of the limitations of other models found in literature that tend to significantly underestimate the actual values of performance reduction. The numerical results were also used to analyze and debug the stage performance scaling procedure used in stage-stacking models in order to represent fouling in multistage compressors. The analysis highlighted that scaling can adequately represent the behavior of the fouled stage in the choked flow region, but it does not capture the reduction in the maximum of the pressure coefficient, which is instead revealed by the numerical simulations. Finally, blockage due to fouling was investigated both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Modeled geometry, numerical grid, and detail of the prism layer near blade surface for NASA Stage 37

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Figure 2

Performance maps: comparison between experimental data and numerical results

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Figure 3

Fluid dynamic features: shock structures at 100% design speed and at rotor span equal to 0.7

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Figure 4

Compressor stage performance curve: pressure ratio versus mass flow

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Figure 5

Compressor stage performance curve: efficiency versus pressure ratio

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Figure 6

Comparison between CFD results and values predicted through Eq. 10

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Figure 7

Comparison between CFD results and values predicted through Eqs. 11,11

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Figure 8

(ϕ,ψp) curves for healthy CFD stage, fouled CFD stage, and fouled scaled stage

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Figure 9

Constant entropy lines for boundary thickness increase evaluation: (a) peak efficiency and (b) choked flow region




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