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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Numerical Investigation on the Leakage and Rotordynamic Characteristics for Three Types of Annular Gas Seals in Wet Gas Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhigang Li, Zhi Fang

Institute of Turbomachinery,
School of Energy & Power Engineering,
Xi’an Jiaotong University,
Xi’an 710049, China

Jun Li

Institute of Turbomachinery,
School of Energy & Power Engineering,
Xi’an Jiaotong University,
Xi’an 710049, China;
Collaborative Innovation Center of
Advanced Aero-Engine,
Beijing 100191, China
e-mail: junli@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 31, 2018; final manuscript received August 16, 2018; published online October 4, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(3), 032504 (Oct 04, 2018) (16 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1535; doi: 10.1115/1.4041313 History: Received July 31, 2018; Revised August 16, 2018

The modern compressor operation is challenged by the liquid presence in wet gas operating conditions. The liquid phase may affect the compressor stability by partially flooding the internal annular gas seals and inducing subsynchronous vibration (SSV). To improve the annular seal behavior and increase the rotor stability, high-precision results of leakage flow rates and rotordynamic force coefficients are needed for annular gas seals in wet gas conditions. In order to better understand the leakage and rotordynamic characteristics of the annular gas seal in wet gas conditions, a 3D transient CFD-based perturbation method was proposed for computations of leakage flow rates and rotordynamic force coefficients of annular gas seals with liquid phase in main gas phase, based on inhomogeneous Eulerian-Eulerian multiphase flow model, mesh deformation technique, and the multifrequency rotor whirling orbit model. Numerical results of frequency-dependent rotordynamic force coefficients and leakage flow rates were presented and compared for three types of noncontact annular gas seals, which include a smooth plain annular seal (SPAS), a labyrinth (LABY) seal, and a fully partitioned pocket damper seal (FPDS). These three seals were designed to have the identical rotor diameter, sealing clearance, and axial length. The accuracy and the availability of the present transient CFD numerical method were demonstrated with the experiment data of leakage flow rates and frequency-dependent rotordynamic force coefficients of the smooth plain seal with four inlet liquid volume fractions (LVFs) of 0%, 2%, 5%, and 8%. Steady and transient numerical simulations were conducted at inlet air pressure of 62.1 bar, pressure ratio of 0.5, rotational speed of 15,000 rpm, and inlet preswirl ratio of 0.3 for four inlet LVFs varying from 0% to 8% and 14 subsynchronous and synchronous whirling frequencies up to 280 Hz. The numerical results show that the inlet liquid phase has a significant influence on the leakage and rotordynamic coefficients for all three types of annular gas seals. The mixture leakage flow rate increases with the increasing inlet LVF, combining the decreasing gas-phase and linearly increasing liquid-phase leakage flow rates. The smooth plain seal leaks the most gas phase and liquid phase, followed by the pocket damper seal (PDS) and then the labyrinth seal. Increasing inlet LVF significantly decreases the direct stiffness and slightly increases the effective damping of the smooth plain seal. The labyrinth seal possesses evident negative direct stiffness and shows a noticeable decreasing effective damping with the increasing inlet LVF at the subsynchronous frequency range. Increasing inlet LVF obviously increases all the force coefficients of the pocket damper seal including the positive effective damping. From a rotordynamic viewpoint, the FPDS possesses a better liquid tolerant capability and so is a better sealing scheme for the balance piston seals and center seals of the centrifugal compressor in wet gas operating condition.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Geometries of three types of annular gas seals (dimensions in millimeter): (a) smooth plain seal (SPAS) [35], (b) LABY seal, and (c) FPDS

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Fig. 2

Computational models and meshes of three types of annular gas seals: (a) SPAS, (b) LABY seal, and (c) FPDS

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Fig. 3

One-dimensional (linear) rotor whirling model: (a) the x-direction excitation and (b) the y-direction excitation

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Fig. 4

Rotor vibration motion in time domain and frequency domain (y excitation, 20–280 Hz)

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Fig. 5

Fluid-induced force in the y direction versus vibration frequency for different mesh densities

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Fig. 6

Leakage flow rates versus inlet LVF (smooth plain seal)

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Fig. 7

Rotordynamic coefficients versus vibration frequency for smooth plain seal with zero inlet preswirl

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Fig. 8

Steady seal leakage flow rate versus inlet LVF for smooth plain seal

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Fig. 9

Rotordynamic coefficients versus vibration frequency for smooth plain seal at different inlet LVFs (λ=0.3)

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Fig. 10

Transient fluid-induced response force for smooth plain seal at different inlet LVFs (λ=0.3)

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Fig. 11

Steady seal leakage flow rate versus inlet LVF for labyrinth seal

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Fig. 12

Rotordynamic coefficients versus vibration frequency for labyrinth seal at different inlet LVFs (λ=0.3)

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Fig. 13

Transient fluid-induced response force for labyrinth seal at different inlet LVFs (λ=0.3)

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Fig. 14

Steady seal leakage flow rate versus inlet LVF for FPDS

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Fig. 15

Rotordynamic coefficients versus vibration frequency for FPDS at different inlet LVFs (λ=0.3)

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Fig. 16

Transient fluid-induced response force for FPDS at different inlet LVFs (λ=0.3)

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Fig. 17

LVF in seal cavity near the rotor surface versus axial position from upstream to downstream: (a) inlet LVF = 2%, (b) inlet LVF = 5%, and (c) inlet LVF = 8%

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