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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Effects of Inlet Turbulence and End-Wall Boundary Layer on Aerothermal Performance of a Transonic Turbine Blade Tip

[+] Author and Article Information
Q. Zhang

University of Michigan-Shanghai,
Jiao Tong University, Joint Institute, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai, China
e-mail: QZhang@sjtu.edu.cn

L. He

Department of Engineering Science,
University of Oxford,
Oxford, UK
e-mail: Li.He@eng.ox.ac.uk

A. Rawlinson

Turbine Systems,
Rolls-Royce plc, Derby, UK

1Corresponding author

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received October 17, 2013; final manuscript received November 6, 2013; published online January 2, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 136(5), 052603 (Jan 02, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-13-1379; doi: 10.1115/1.4026002 History: Received October 17, 2013; Revised November 06, 2013

Most of the previous researches of inlet turbulence effects on blade tip have been carried out for low speed situations. Recent work has indicated that for a transonic turbine tip, turbulent diffusion tends to have a distinctively different impact on tip heat transfer than for its subsonic counterpart. It is hence of interest to examine how inlet turbulence flow conditioning would affect heat transfer characteristics for a transonic tip. The present work is aimed to identify and understand the effects of both inlet freestream turbulence and end wall boundary layer on a transonic turbine blade tip aerothermal performance. Spatially-resolved heat transfer data are obtained at aerodynamic conditions representative of a high-pressure turbine, using the transient infrared thermography technique with the Oxford High-Speed Linear Cascade research facility. With and without turbulence grids, the turbulence levels achieved are 7%–9% and 1%, respectively. On the blade tip surface, no apparent change in heat transfer was observed with high and low inlet turbulence intensity levels investigated. On the blade suction surface, however, substantially different local heat transfer distributions for the suction side near tip surface have been observed, indicating a strong local dependence of the local vortical flow structure on the freestream turbulence. These experimentally observed trends have also been confirmed by CFD examinations using the Rolls-Royce HYDRA. A further CFD analysis suggests that the level of inflow turbulence alters the balance between the passage vortex associated secondary flow and the over tip leakage (OTL) flow. Consequently, an enhanced inertia of near wall fluid at a higher inflow turbulence weakens the cross-passage flow. As such, the weaker passage vortex leads the tip leakage vortex to move further into the mid passage, with the less spanwise coverage on the suction surface, as consistently indicated by the heat transfer signature. Different inlet end wall boundary layer profiles are employed in the computational study with HYDRA. All CFD results indicate the inlet boundary layer thickness has little impact on the heat transfer over the tip surface as well as the pressure side near-tip surface. However, noticeable changes in heat transfer are observed for the suction side near-tip surface. Similar to the inlet turbulence effect, such changes can be attributed to the interaction between the passage vortex and the OTL flow.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Oxford University High-Speed Linear Cascade (HSLC) research facility

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Fig. 2

Test section with a turbulence grid installed

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Fig. 3

Turbulence intensity and length scale measured one axial chord upstream of the test blade

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Fig. 4

Experimentally measured tip Nusselt number contours with low and high inlet turbulence intensity levels

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Fig. 5

Experimental results of Nusselt number distributions on the suction side near-tip region with low and high inlet turbulence intensity levels

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Fig. 6

Experimental results of adiabatic wall temperature distributions on the suction side near-tip region with low and high inlet turbulence intensity levels (dashed line indicates the spanwise extent of OTL flow)

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Fig. 7

Normalized Nusselt number distributions on the suction side near-tip region with low and high inlet turbulence intensity levels

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Fig. 8

Heat flux distributions (W/m2) with different inlet turbulence intensities (CFD prediction)

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Fig. 9

Over-tip-leakage streamlines colored by the turbulent to laminar viscosity ratio (μTL) for low and high inflow turbulence levels (CFD)

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Fig. 10

Streamlines illustrating the balancing between the OTL vortex and the passage vortex for two turbulence levels

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Fig. 11

Different inlet casing boundary layer profiles employed in the present CFD study

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Fig. 12

Tip and pressure side surface heat flux at different casing boundary layer thicknesses

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Fig. 13

Near-tip suction surface heat flux at different casing boundary layer thicknesses

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Fig. 14

Suction side near-tip surface heat flux and tip leakage flow illustrated by velocity vectors along a cut plane colored by total pressure ratio

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Fig. 15

Streamlines released from inlet near casing region (colored by Mach number)

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