Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Aircraft Engine

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011201-011201-13. doi:10.1115/1.4025310.

This paper presents a methodology for developing a control oriented analytical linear model of a turbofan engine at both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. This scheme provides improved accuracy over the commonly used linearization method based on numerical perturbation and piecewise linear interpolation. Linear coefficients are obtained by evaluating at current conditions analytical expressions, which result from differentiation of simplified nonlinear expressions. Residualization of the fast dynamics states are utilized since the fast dynamics are outside of the primary control bandwidth. Analytical expressions based on the physics of the aerothermodynamic processes of a gas turbine engine facilitate a systematic approach to the analysis and synthesis of model based controllers. In addition, the use of analytical expressions reduces the computational effort, enabling linearization in real time at both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions to enable more accurate capture of system dynamics during aggressive transient maneuvers. The methodology is formulated and applied to a separate flow twin spool turbofan engine model in the numerical propulsion system simulation (NPSS) platform. The derived linear model is validated against the full nonlinear engine model.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011202-011202-8. doi:10.1115/1.4025362.

Full Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) simulations of the flow in the near wake of a three-bladed horizontal-axis wind turbine are presented. The simulations, which are based on the model experiments in controlled conditions (MEXICO) experiment and include the complete rotor, nacelle, and tower show good agreement with experimental data, with 4% difference relative to measured flow properties. The flow properties in the near wake are detailed for both uniform and nonuniform flow conditions. The effects of increasing tip-speed ratio and a yawed inflow of 30 deg are studied. The full RANS simulations are used to support the development of an immersed wind turbine model at ETH Zurich. This model allows for modeling of the wake evolution and interactions in wind farms, for multiple turbines, with substantially reduced computational effort.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011203-011203-11. doi:10.1115/1.4025244.

The reduction of CO2 emissions is strongly linked with the improvement of engine specific fuel consumption, along with the reduction of engine nacelle drag and weight. One alternative design approach to improving specific fuel consumption is to consider a geared fan combined with an increased overall pressure ratio intercooled core performance cycle. The thermal benefits from intercooling have been well documented in the literature. Nevertheless, there is very little information available in the public domain with respect to design space exploration of such an engine concept when combined with a geared fan. The present work uses a multidisciplinary conceptual design tool to analyze the option of an intercooled core geared fan aero engine for long haul applications with a 2020 entry into service technology level assumption. With minimum mission fuel in mind, the results indicate as optimal values a pressure ratio split exponent of 0.38 and an intercooler mass flow ratio of 1.18 at hot-day top of climb conditions. At ISA midcruise conditions a specific thrust of 86 m/s, a jet velocity ratio of 0.83, an intercooler effectiveness of 56%, and an overall pressure ratio value of 76 are likely to be a good choice. A 70,000 lbf intercooled turbofan engine is large enough to make efficient use of an all-axial compression system, particularly within a geared fan configuration, but intercooling is perhaps more likely to be applied to even larger engines. The proposed optimal jet velocity ratio is actually higher than the value one would expect by using standard analytical expressions, primarily because this design variable affects core efficiency at mid-cruise due to a combination of several different subtle changes to the core cycle and core component efficiencies at this condition. The analytical expressions do not consider changes in core efficiency and the beneficial effect of intercooling on transfer efficiency, nor do they account for losses in the bypass duct and jet pipe, while a relatively detailed engine performance model, such as the one utilized in this study, does. Mission fuel results from a surrogate model are in good agreement with the results obtained from a rubberized-wing aircraft model for some of the design parameters. This indicates that it is possible to replace an aircraft model with specific fuel consumption and weight penalty exchange rates. Nevertheless, drag count exchange rates have to be utilized to properly assess changes in mission fuel for those design parameters that affect nacelle diameter.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011204-011204-8. doi:10.1115/1.4025347.

Gas path analysis (GPA) is an effective method for determination of turbofan component condition from measured performance parameters. GPA is widely applied on engine test rig data to isolate components responsible for performance problems, thereby offering substantial cost saving potential. Additional benefits can be obtained from the application of GPA to on-wing engine data. This paper describes the experience with model-based GPA on large volumes of on-wing measured performance data. Critical is the minimization of the GPA results uncertainty in order to maintain reliable diagnostics and condition monitoring information. This is especially challenging given the variable in-flight operating conditions and limited on-wing sensor accuracy. The uncertainty effects can be mitigated by statistical analysis and filtering and postprocessing of the large datasets. By analyzing correlations between measured performance data trends and estimated component condition trends errors can be isolated from the GPA results. The various methods assessed are described and results are demonstrated in a number of case studies on a large turbofan engine fleet.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Coal, Biomass, and Alternative Fuels

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011401-011401-9. doi:10.1115/1.4025345.

High temperature diesel engine exhaust gas can be an important source of heat to operate a bottoming Rankine cycle to produce additional power. In this research, an experiment was performed to calculate the available energy in the exhaust gas of an automotive diesel engine. A shell and tube heat exchanger was used to extract heat from the exhaust gas, and the performance of two shell and tube heat exchangers was investigated with parallel flow arrangement using water as the working fluid. The heat exchangers were purchased from the market. As the design of these heat exchangers was not optimal, the effectiveness was found to be 0.52, which is much lower than the ideal one for this type of application. Therefore, with the available experimental data, the important geometric aspects of the heat exchanger, such as the number and diameter of the tubes and the length and diameter of the shell, were optimized using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. The optimized heat exchanger effectiveness was found to be 0.74. Using the optimized heat exchangers, simulation was conducted to estimate the possible additional power generation considering 70% isentropic turbine efficiency. The proposed optimized heat exchanger was able to generate 20.6% additional power, which resulted in improvement of overall efficiency from 30% to 39%. Upon investigation of the effect of the working pressure on additional power generation, it was found that higher additional power can be achieved at higher working pressure. For this particular application, 30 bar was found to be the optimum working pressure at rated load. The working pressure was also optimized at part load and found that 2 and 20 were the optimized working pressures for 25% and 83% load. As a result 1.8% and 13.3% additional power were developed, respectively. Thus, waste heat recovery technology has a great potential for saving energy, improving overall engine efficiency, and reducing toxic emission per kilowatt of power generation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011501-011501-7. doi:10.1115/1.4025346.

Large amounts of tiny microparticles are ingested into gas turbines over their operating life, resulting in unexpected wear and tear. Knowledge of such microparticle behavior at gas turbine operating temperatures is limited in published literature. In this study, Arizona road dust (ARD) is injected into a hot flow field to measure the effects of high temperature and velocity on particle rebound from a polished 304 stainless steel (SS) coupon. The results are compared with baseline (27 m/s) measurements at ambient (300 K) temperature made in the Virginia Tech Aerothermal Rig, as well as previously published literature. Mean coefficient of restitution (COR) was shown to decrease with the increased temperature/velocity conditions in the VT Aerothermal Rig. The effects of increasing temperature and velocity led to a 12% average reduction in COR at 533 K (47 m/s), 15% average reduction in COR at 866 K (77 m/s), and 16% average reduction in COR at 1073 K (102 m/s) compared with ambient results. The decrease in COR appeared to be almost entirely a result of increased velocity that resulted from heating the flow. Trends show that temperature plays a minor role in energy transfer between particle and impact surface below a critical temperature.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011502-011502-9. doi:10.1115/1.4025248.

Depending on the feedstock and the production method, the composition of syngas can include (in addition to H2 and CO) small hydrocarbons, diluents (CO2, water, and N2), and impurities (H2S, NH3, NOx, etc.). Despite this fact, most of the studies on syngas combustion do not include hydrocarbons or impurities and in some cases not even diluents in the fuel mixture composition. Hence, studies with realistic syngas composition are necessary to help in designing gas turbines. The aim of this work was to investigate numerically the effect of the variation in the syngas composition on some fundamental combustion properties of premixed systems such as laminar flame speed and ignition delay time at realistic engine operating conditions. Several pressures, temperatures, and equivalence ratios were investigated for the ignition delay times, namely 1, 10, and 35 atm, 900–1400 K, and ϕ = 0.5 and 1.0. For laminar flame speed, temperatures of 300 and 500 K were studied at pressures of 1 atm and 15 atm. Results showed that the addition of hydrocarbons generally reduces the reactivity of the mixture (longer ignition delay time, slower flame speed) due to chemical kinetic effects. The amplitude of this effect is, however, dependent on the nature and concentration of the hydrocarbon as well as the initial condition (pressure, temperature, and equivalence ratio).

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011503-011503-12. doi:10.1115/1.4025265.

A robust optimization scheme, known as rkmGen, for reaction rate parameter estimation has been developed for the generation of reduced kinetics models of practical interest for reactive flow simulations. It employs a stochastic optimization algorithm known as simulated annealing (SA), and is implemented in C++ and coupled with Cantera, a chemical kinetics software package, to automate the reduced kinetic mechanism generation process. Reaction rate parameters in reduced order models can be estimated by optimizing against target data generated from a detailed model or by experiment. Target data may be of several different kinds: ignition delay time, blow-out time, laminar flame speed, species time-history profiles, and species reactivity profiles. The software allows for simultaneous optimization against multiple target data sets over a wide range of temperatures, pressures, and equivalence ratios. In this paper, a detailed description of the optimization strategy used for the reaction parameter estimation is provided. To illustrate the performance of the software for reduced kinetic mechanism development, a number of test cases for various fuels were used: one-step, three-step, and four-step global reduced kinetic models for ethylene, Jet-A and methane, respectively, and a 50 step semiglobal reduced kinetic model for methane. The 50 step semiglobal reduced kinetic model was implemented in the Star*CCM+ commercial CFD code to simulate Sandia Flame D using laminar flamelet libraries and compared with the experimental data. Simulations were also performed with the GRI3.0 mechanism for comparisons.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011504-011504-8. doi:10.1115/1.4025210.

This work describes measurements and analysis of the turbulent consumption speeds, ST,GC, of H2/CO fuel blends. We report measurements of ST,GC at pressures and normalized turbulence intensities, urms'/SL,0, up to 20 atm and 1800, respectively, for a variety of H2/CO mixtures and equivalence ratios. In addition, we present correlations of these data using laminar burning velocities of highly stretched flames, SL,max, derived from quasi-steady leading points models. These analyses show that SL,max can be used to correlate data over a broad range of fuel compositions but do not capture the pressure sensitivity of ST,GC. We suggest that these pressure effects are more fundamentally a manifestation of non-quasi-steady behavior in the mass burning rate at the flame leading points.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011505-011505-11. doi:10.1115/1.4025348.

The claim for low emission engines, imposed by strict environmental legislation, has prompted the aeronautical industry to reduce both noise emission and pollution by using lean combustion technology. These engines are often affected by acoustic instabilities that can compromise their correct functioning. A 3D acoustic wave field investigation is increasingly relevant for a correct design and comprehension of this kind of phenomena. Numerical codes are widely used for this type of analysis but an experimental validation is still required due to the complexity of the real phenomena involved in acoustic generation and propagation. While the wall acoustic pressure can be easily measured, very few examples of radial measurement for a 3D analysis can be found in research on this subject. This paper presents an example of a radial measurement of a 3D acoustic pressure field by means of a waveguide probe based on a 1/4" pressure microphone. In particular, several probe geometries were designed and calibrated on a specialized test rig. In order to verify the adopted methodology, the acoustic 3D pressure fields of two simplified geometries were measured and compared with those from a theoretical model describing the actual conditions of the test rig.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011506-011506-11. doi:10.1115/1.4025316.

State-of-the-art liner cooling technology for modern combustion chambers is represented by effusion cooling (or full-coverage film cooling). Effusion is a very efficient cooling strategy typically based on the use of several inclined small diameter cylindrical holes, where liner temperature is controlled by the combined protective effect of coolant film and heat removal through forced convection inside each hole. A CFD-based thermal analysis of such components implies a significant computational cost if the cooling holes are included in the simulations; therefore many efforts have been made to develop lower order approaches aiming at reducing the number of mesh elements. The simplest approach models the set of holes as a uniform coolant injection, but it does not allow an accurate assessment of the interaction between hot gas and coolant. Therefore higher order models have been developed, such as those based on localized mass sources in the region of hole discharge. The model presented in this paper replaces the effusion hole with a mass sink on the cold side of the plate, a mass source on the hot side, whereas convective cooling within the perforation is accounted for with a heat sink. The innovative aspect of the work is represented by the automatic calculation of the mass flow through each hole, obtained by a run time estimation of isentropic mass flow with probe points, while the discharge coefficients are calculated at run time through an in-house developed correlation. In the same manner, the heat sink is calculated from a Nusselt number correlation available in literature for short length holes. The methodology has been applied to experimental test cases of effusion cooling plates and compared to numerical results obtained through a CFD analysis including the cooling holes, showing a good agreement. A comparison between numerical results and experimental data was performed on an actual combustor as well, in order to prove the feasibility of the procedure.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Controls, Diagnostics, and Instrumentation

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011601-011601-15. doi:10.1115/1.4025318.

This paper describes a simplified physics-based method derived from fundamental relationships to accurately predict the dynamic response of the steam bottoming cycle of a combined cycle power plant to the changes in gas turbine exhaust temperature and flow rate. The method offers two advantages: (1) rapid calculation of various modes of combined cycle transient performance such as startup, shutdown, and load ramps for conceptual design and optimization studies, and (2) transparency of governing principles and solution methods for ease of use by a wider range of practitioners. Thus, the method facilitates better understanding and dissemination of said studies. All requisite formulas and methods described in the paper are readily amenable to implementation on a computational platform of the reader's choice.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Cycle Innovations

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011701-011701-13. doi:10.1115/1.4025263.

Nowadays the turbocharging technique is playing a fundamental role in improving automotive engine performance and reducing fuel consumption and the exhaust emissions, in spark-ignition and compression ignition engines, as well. To this end, one-dimensional (1D) modeling is usually employed to compute the engine-turbocharger matching, to select the boost level in different operating conditions, and to estimate the low-end torque level and the transient response. However, 1D modeling of a turbocharged engine requires the availability of the turbine and compressor characteristic maps. This leads to some typical drawbacks: (1)Performance maps of the turbocharger device are usually limited to a reduced number of rotational speeds, pressure ratios, and mass flow rates because of turbine/compressor matching limits; (2) as a consequence of previous issue, unphysical extrapolation of maps' data is commonly required; and (3) heat transfer conditions may strongly differ between test bench measurements and actual operation, where turbocharger is coupled to an internal combustion engine. To overcome the above problems, in the present paper a numerical procedure is introduced: It solves 1D steady flow equations inside the turbine components with the aim of accurately reproducing the experimentally derived characteristic maps. The steady procedure describes the main phenomena and losses arising within the stationary and rotating channels constituting the turbine. It is utilized to directly compute the related steady maps, starting from the specification of a reduced set of geometrical data. An optimization process is employed to identify a number of tuning constants included in the various loss correlations. The procedure is applied to the simulation of five different turbines: three waste-gated turbines, a twin-entry turbine, and a variable geometry turbine. The numerical results show good agreement with the experimentally derived maps for all the tested devices. The model is, hence, used to evaluate the turbine performance in the whole operating domain.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Electric Power

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):011801-011801-10. doi:10.1115/1.4024964.

The construction of the first generation of commercial hybrid solar gas-turbine power plants will present the designer with a large number of choices. To assist decision making, a thermoeconomic study has been performed for three different power plant configurations, namely, simple- and combined-cycles along with a simple-cycle with the addition of thermal energy storage. Multi-objective optimization has been used to identify Pareto-optimal designs and highlight the trade-offs between minimizing investment costs and minimizing specific CO2 emissions. The solar hybrid combined-cycle power plant provides a 60% reduction in electricity cost compared to parabolic trough power plants at annual solar shares up to 20%. The storage integrated designs can achieve much higher solar shares and provide a 7–13% reduction in electricity costs at annual solar shares up to 90%. At the same time, the water consumption of the solar gas-turbine systems is significantly lower than conventional steam-cycle based solar power plants.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Manufacturing, Materials, and Metallurgy

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):012101-012101-7. doi:10.1115/1.4025264.

The hot gas path components of gas turbines have to withstand to severe conditions in terms of high temperature oxidation, hot corrosion, and creep-fatigue phenomena. The evaluation of components residual life is an important matter for gas turbines producers and the estimation of service temperatures is a key tool for this evaluation. The most diffused methods to estimate service temperatures of gas turbines blades and vanes in Ni based superalloys are related to the microstructural evolution of the dispersed intermetallic phase γ′, Ni3Al. The aim of this work has been the determination of a tool to estimate service temperature on the basis of the microstructural evolutions of a NiCoCrAlY+Re coating. In order to obtain a deep characterization of the coating after exposure at different durations and temperatures, an extensive experimental test program has been planned. Samples of Ni based superalloys, covered by the investigated coating, have been aged in chamber furnaces in the temperature range 700 °C–1000 °C with durations up to 20,000 h. The microstructure of this coating is characterized by β phase, NiAl, which is the Al reservoir, embedded in the matrix, that is constituted by γ′ phase at low temperature and by γ phase over 900 °C. Moreover, electron back scattered diffraction and X-ray diffraction measurements on samples have revealed three classes of secondary phases: the first one has been identified as σ-Cr2Re3, the second one as Cr carbide-Cr23C6 and the third one as α-Cr. σ phase is very abundant at the lower temperatures while it disappears after long exposures at temperatures higher than 900 °C. The σ phase composition is different at different temperatures and the Re content in particular increases with the temperature. Starting from the σ phase composition determined at different temperatures, a tool has been constructed that relates the service temperature to the Re content in the same phase. The new tool has been applied to the analyses of different components. The results of the new method have been compared to those ones obtained with the method based on γ′ features, developed in the past through huge experimental campaigns. The agreement between the two methods is generally good, they can be used in a complementary way due to the fact that the γ′ one seems to be more suitable for high temperature ranges (T > 900 °C) where it gives a reliable estimation, while the σ method is more suitable in the temperature range 700 °C–900 °C.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):012501-012501-11. doi:10.1115/1.4025267.

Measured results are presented to compare rotordynamic coefficients and leakage of a slanted-tooth labyrinth seal and a straight-tooth labyrinth seal. Both seals had identical pitch, depth, and number of teeth. The teeth inclination angle of the teeth on the slanted-tooth labyrinth was 65 deg from the normal axis. Experiments were carried out at an inlet pressure of 70 bar-a (1015 psi-a), pressure ratios of 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6, rotor speeds of 10.2, 15.35, and 20.2 krpm, and a radial clearance of 0.2 mm (8 mils). One zero and two positive inlet preswirl ratios were used. The results show only minute difference in the rotordynamic coefficients between the two seals. The slanted-tooth labyrinth seal consistently leaked approximately 10% less at all conditions. Predictions were made using a one control volume bulk-flow model (1CVM) which was developed for a straight-tooth labyrinth seal design. 1CVM under-predicted the rotordynamic coefficients and the leakage.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):012601-012601-8. doi:10.1115/1.4025317.

Since isentropic efficiency is widely used in evaluating the performance of compressors, it is essential to accurately calculate this parameter from experimental measurements. Quantifying realistic bounds of uncertainty in experimental measurements are necessary to make meaningful comparisons to computational fluid dynamics simulations. This paper explores how the gas model utilized for air can impact not only the efficiency calculated in an experiment, but also the uncertainty associated with that calculation. In this paper, three different gas models are utilized: the perfect gas model, the ideal gas model, and the real gas model. A commonly employed assumption in calculating compressor efficiency is the perfect gas assumption, in which the specific heat, is treated as a constant and is independent of temperature and pressure. Results show significant differences in both calculated efficiency and the resulting uncertainty in efficiency between the perfect gas model and the real gas model. The calculated compressor efficiency from the perfect gas model is overestimated, while the resulting uncertainties from the perfect gas model are underestimated. The ideal gas model agrees well with the real gas model, however. Including the effect of uncertainty in gas properties results in very large uncertainties in isentropic efficiency, on the order of ten points, for low pressure ratio machines.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Briefs

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):014501-014501-8. doi:10.1115/1.4025314.

Turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) propulsion systems have been a topic of research as a means for more efficient flight at supersonic and hypersonic speeds. The present study focuses on the fundamental physics of the complex flow in the TBCC exhaust system during the transition mode as the turbine exhaust is shut off and the ramjet exhaust is increased. A TBCC exhaust system was designed using methods of characteristics (MOC) and subjected to experimental and computational study. The main objectives of the study were: (1) to identify the interactions between the two exhaust jet streams during the transition mode phase and their effects on the whole flow-field structure; (2) to determine and verify the aerodynamic performance of the over–under TBCC exhaust nozzle; and (3) to validate the simulation ability of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software according to the experimental conditions. Static pressure taps and Schlieren apparatus were employed to obtain the wall pressure distributions and flow-field structures. Steady-state tests were performed with the ramjet nozzle cowl at six different positions at which the turbine flow path were half closed and fully opened, respectively. Methods of CFD were used to simulate the exhaust flow and they complemented the experimental study by providing greater insight into the details of the flow field and a means of verifying the experimental results. Results indicated that the flow structure was complicated because the two exhaust jet streams interacted with each other during the exhaust system mode transition. The exhaust system thrust coefficient varied from 0.9288 to 0.9657 during the process. The CFD simulation results agree well with the experimental data, which demonstrated that the CFD methods were effective in evaluating the aerodynamic performance of the TBCC exhaust system during the mode transition.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2013;136(1):014502-014502-6. doi:10.1115/1.4025243.

The dual throat nozzle (DTN) technique is capable to achieve higher thrust-vectoring efficiencies than other fluidic techniques, without compromising thrust efficiency significantly during vectoring operation. The excellent performance of the DTN is mainly due to the concaved cavity. In this paper, two DTNs of different scales have been investigated by unsteady numerical simulations to compare the parameter variations and study the effects of cavity during the vector starting process. The results remind us that during the vector starting process, dynamic loads may be generated, which is a potentially challenging problem for the aircraft trim and control.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In