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Research Papers

The Comparison of Aerodynamic Performance Data Acquired From Thermal Measurements and a Torquemeter on a Compressor Impeller

[+] Author and Article Information
Natalie R. Smith

Machinery Department,
Southwest Research Institute,
6220 Culebra Road,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: natalie.smith@swri.org

Timothy C. Allison

Machinery Department,
Southwest Research Institute,
6220 Culebra Road,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: tim.allison@swri.org

Jason C. Wilkes

Machinery Department,
Southwest Research Institute,
6220 Culebra Road,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: jason.wilkes@swri.org

Christopher Clarke

Solar Turbines,
4200 Ruffin Road,
San Diego, CA 92123
e-mail: Clarke_Christopher_M@solarturbines.com

Michael Cave

Solar Turbines,
4200 Ruffin Road,
San Diego, CA 92123
e-mail: Cave_Michael_J@solarturbines.com

Manuscript received September 24, 2018; final manuscript received October 9, 2018; published online November 16, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(4), 041011 (Nov 16, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1623; doi: 10.1115/1.4041740 History: Received September 24, 2018; Revised October 09, 2018

Full-thermal heat-soak of machinery is vital for acquiring accurate aerodynamic performance data, but this process often requires significant testing time to allow all facility components to reach a steady-state temperature. Even still, there is the potential for heat loss in a well-insulated facility, and this can lead to inaccurate results. The implementation of a torquemeter to calculate performance metrics, such as isentropic efficiency, has two potential advantages: (1) the method is not susceptible to effects due to thermal heat loss in the facility, and (2) a torquemeter directly measures actual torque, and thus work, input, which eliminates the need to fully heat-soak to measure the actual enthalpy rise of the gas. This paper presents a comparison of aerodynamic performance metrics calculated both from data acquired with thermal measurements as well as from a torquemeter.

These tests were conducted over five speedlines for a shrouded impeller in the Southwest Research Institute Single Stage Test Rig facility. Isentropic efficiency calculated from the torquemeter was approximately 1–2 efficiency points lower than the isentropic efficiency based on thermal measurements. This corresponds to approximately 0.5–1 °C in heat loss in the discharge collector and piping. Furthermore, observations from three full-thermal heat-soak points indicate the significant difference in time required to reach steady-state performance within measurement uncertainty tolerances between the torque-based and thermal-based methods. This comparison, while largely suspected, has not yet been studied in previous publications.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Single stage test rig

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Fig. 2

Single stage test rig torquemeter assembly

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Fig. 3

Torquemeter zero-load calibration test across the full SSTR speed range

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Fig. 4

Pre- and post-test torquemeter zero offsets compared to ambient temperature

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Fig. 5

Stage isentropic head rise

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Fig. 6

Isentropic efficiency calculated from thermal (ERE) and torque (TE) measurements

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Fig. 7

Difference in isentropic efficiency calculated from thermal measurements (ERE) and torque (TE) with estimated associated thermal loss

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Fig. 8

Heat transfer coefficient estimation

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Fig. 9

Isentropic efficiency calculated from thermal measurements and torque throughout thermal heat soak at BEP

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Fig. 10

Isentropic efficiency calculated from thermal measurements and torque throughout thermal heat soak at near stall conditions

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Fig. 12

Change in TE associated with individual maximum measurement uncertainty

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Fig. 11

Change in ERE associated with individual maximum measurement uncertainty

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