Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

The Effects of Tip Leakage Flow on the Performance of Multistage Compressors Used in Small Core Engine Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Reid A. Berdanier

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Allison Road,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: rberdani@purdue.edu

Nicole L. Key

Associate Professor
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Allison Road,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: nkey@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received August 4, 2015; final manuscript received August 31, 2015; published online November 11, 2015. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(5), 052605 (Nov 11, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-15-1395; doi: 10.1115/1.4031625 History: Received August 04, 2015; Revised August 31, 2015

Large rotor tip clearances and the associated tip leakage flows are known to have a significant effect on overall compressor performance. However, detailed experimental data reflecting these effects for a multistage compressor are limited in the open literature. As design trends lead to increased overall compressor pressure ratio for thermal efficiency benefits and increased bypass ratios for propulsive benefits, the rear stages of the high-pressure compressor will become physically small. Because rotor tip clearances cannot scale exactly with blade size due to the margin needed for thermal growth considerations, relatively large tip clearances will be a reality for these rear stages. Experimental data have been collected from a three-stage axial compressor to assess performance with three-tip clearance heights representative of current and future small core machines. Trends of overall pressure rise, stall margin, and efficiency are evaluated using clearance derivatives, and the summarized data presented here begin to narrow the margin of tip clearance sensitivities outlined by previous studies in an effort to inform future compressor designs. Furthermore, interstage measurements show stage matching changes and highlight specific differences in the performance of rotor 1 and stator 2 compared to other blade rows in the machine.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of compressor tip clearance casing geometry configurations

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Fig. 2

Compressor measurement plane locations

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Fig. 3

Compressor TPR map

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Fig. 4

Change of stall conditions with tip clearance height (100% Nc)

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Fig. 5

Flow range change with tip clearance height

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Fig. 6

Peak total-to-static pressure rise coefficient difference as a function of tip clearance height

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Fig. 7

Isentropic compressor efficiency at four corrected rotational speeds, Nc

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Fig. 8

Isentropic efficiency for specified 100% Nc speedline points as a function of tip clearance height

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Fig. 9

Radial stagnation pressure profiles at HL

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Fig. 10

Radial stagnation pressure profiles at NS

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Fig. 11

Detailed total pressure traverse measurements at stator 2 exit, axial measurement plane 6 (top), compared with qualitative flow visualization photographs of surface flows on stator 2 (bottom). Data collected at HL.

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Fig. 12

Stage total-to-static pressure rise characteristics at 100% corrected speed

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Fig. 13

Comparison of rotor and stage efficiency differences with tip clearance height at NL and HL




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