Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

A Computational and Experimental Compressor Design Project for Japanese and British High-School Students

[+] Author and Article Information
S. D. Grimshaw

Whittle Laboratory,
University of Cambridge,
1 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge CB3 0DY, UK
e-mail: sdg33@cam.ac.uk

C. L. Sequeira, M. Hewkin-Smith

Whittle Laboratory,
University of Cambridge,
1 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge CB3 0DY, UK

1Present address: Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, Hangar 1, Cardington Airfield, Shortstown, Bedford MK42 0TG, UK.

Contributed by the Education Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received August 22, 2016; final manuscript received September 14, 2016; published online January 10, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(5), 052604 (Jan 10, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1418; doi: 10.1115/1.4035208 History: Received August 22, 2016; Revised September 14, 2016

This paper describes an innovative, three-day, turbomachinery research project for Japanese and British high-school students. The project is structured using modern teaching theories that encourage student curiosity and creativity. The experience develops teamwork and communication and helps to break down the cultural and linguistic barriers between students from different countries and backgrounds. The approach provides a framework for other hands-on research projects that aim to inspire young students to undertake a career in engineering. The project is part of the Clifton Scientific Trust's annual UK–Japan Young Scientist Workshop Programme. This work focuses on compressor design for jet engines and gas turbines. It includes lectures introducing students to turbomachinery concepts, a computational design study of a compressor blade section, experimental tests with a low-speed cascade, and tutorials in data analysis and aerodynamic theory. The project also makes use of 3D printing technology, so that students go through the full engineering design process, from theory, through design, to practical experimental testing. Alongside the academic aims, students learn what it is like to study engineering at university, discover how to work effectively in a multinational team, and experience a real engineering problem. Despite a lack of background in fluid dynamics and the limited time available, the lab work and end-of-project presentation show how far young students can be stretched when they are motivated by an interesting problem.

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Fig. 1

Experiential learning cycle (adapted from Kolb [28])

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Fig. 2

Examples of slides from (a) the introductory lecture and (b) the technical lecture

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Fig. 3

Compressor design tool interface

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Fig. 4

Blade surface static-to-static pressure coefficient distribution (Cp) and boundary layer results (adapted from mises)

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Fig. 5

Datum and improved designs from the compressor design tool and the resulting plot of stagnation pressure loss coefficient (ω¯) against incidence

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Fig. 6

Modeling the compressor cascade cassette using cad and a 3D-printed cassette

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Fig. 7

Experimental test facility

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Fig. 8

Suction surface flow visualization and comparison of stagnation pressure loss coefficient (Yp) wake traverse results for datum, tripped, and improved blade designs




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