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Research Papers

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041001-041001-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041628.

In a cover-plate system, rotating receiver hole is an important component, because its structure and characteristics directly influence the aerodynamic loss and cooling performance in the preswirl system. A new type of vane shaped (VS) receiver hole was designed and presented in this paper. Numerical simulations were carried out to compare the performances among high-radius direct transfer system (model-A), low-radius cover-plate system with simple drilled (SD) receiver holes (model-B), and low-radius cover-plate system with VS receiver holes (model-C). Results indicate that for the operating conditions simulated here, temperature drop effectiveness of the high-radius preswirl system is much better compared to the low-radius system with SD receiver hole. With VS receiver hole, the aerodynamic loss in model-C is the lowest. The nondimensional static pressure at preswirl nozzle exit is only 0.93, around 10% lower than model-B. Moreover, it has a more remarkable cooling performance. The temperature drop effectiveness of model-C can be as high as 0.52, around 67.7% higher compared to model-A. The system with VS receiver hole could not only realize the advantage of low leakage flow as a low-radius system, but also could achieve higher temperature drop compared to high-radius system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041002-041002-9. doi:10.1115/1.4041648.

The basic principle of a distinct idea to reduce an aerodynamic mixing loss induced by the difference in tangential velocity between mainstream flow and rotor shroud leakage flow is presented in “Part I: Design Concept and Typical Performance of a Swirl Breaker.” When the swirl breaker is installed in the circulating region of leakage flow at the rotor shroud exit cavity, the axial distance between the swirl breaker and the rotor shroud is a crucial factor to trap the leakage flow into the swirl breaker cavity. In Part II, five cases of geometry with different axial distances between the swirl breaker and the rotor shroud, which covered a range for the stage axial distance of actual high and intermediate pressure (HIP) steam turbines, were investigated using a single-rotor computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and verification tests in a 1.5-stage air model turbine. By decreasing the axial distance between the swirl breaker and the rotor shroud, the tangential velocity and the mixing region in the tip side which is influenced by the rotor shroud leakage flow were decreased and the stage efficiency was increased. The case of the shortest axial distance between the swirl breaker and the rotor shroud increased turbine stage efficiency by 0.7% compared to the conventional cavity geometry. In addition, the measured maximum pressure fluctuation in the swirl breaker cavity was only 0.7% of the entire flow pressure. Consequently, both performance characteristics and structural reliability of swirl breaker were verified for application to real steam turbines.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041003-041003-9. doi:10.1115/1.4041650.

In high and intermediate pressure (HIP) steam turbines with shrouded blades, it is well known that shroud leakage losses contribute significantly to overall losses. Shroud leakage flow with a large tangential velocity creates a significant aerodynamic loss due to mixing with the mainstream flow. In order to reduce this mixing loss, two distinct ideas for rotor shroud exit cavity geometries were investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses and experimental tests. One idea was an axial fin placed from the shroud downstream casing to reduce the axial cavity gap, and the other was a swirl breaker placed in the rotor shroud exit cavity to reduce the tangential velocity of the leakage flow. In addition to the conventional cavity geometry, three types of shroud exit cavity geometries were designed, manufactured, and tested using a 1.5-stage air model turbine with medium aspect ratio blading. Test results showed that the axial fin and the swirl breaker raised turbine stage efficiency by 0.2% and 0.7%, respectively. The proposed swirl breaker was judged to be an effective way to achieve highly efficient steam turbines because it not only reduces the mixing losses but also improves the incidence angle distribution onto the downstream blade row. This study is presented in two papers. The basic design concept and typical performance of the proposed swirl breaker are presented in this part I, and the effect of axial distance between a swirl breaker and rotor shroud on efficiency improvement is discussed in part II [8].

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041004-041004-7. doi:10.1115/1.4041657.

The response of a silicon carbide (SiC) fibrous ceramic composite to foreign object damage (FOD) was determined at ambient temperature and velocities ranging from 40 to 150 m/s. Target specimens were impacted, at a normal incidence angle and in a partially supported configuration, using 1.59 mm diameter hardened steel ball projectiles. Qualitative analysis of the damage morphologies of targets and projectiles was made via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition, the extent of impact damage was characterized by determining the post-impact strength of each target specimen as a function of impact velocity. Relative to the as-received (As-R) strength, the fibrous composite showed limited strength degradation due to impact with the maximum reduction of 17% occurring at 150 m/s. A quasi-static analysis of the impact force prediction was also made based on the principle of energy conservation and the results were verified via experimental data.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041005-041005-9. doi:10.1115/1.4041658.

The flow in intake manifold of a heavily downsized internal combustion engine has increased levels of unsteadiness due to the reduction of cylinder number and manifold arrangement. The turbocharger compressor is thus exposed to significant pulsating backpressure. This paper studies the response of a centrifugal compressor to this unsteadiness using an experimentally validated numerical method. A computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model with the volute and impeller is established and validated by experimental measurements. Following this, an unsteady three-dimensional (3D) simulation is conducted on a single passage imposed by the pulsating backpressure conditions, which are obtained by one-dimensional (1D) unsteady simulation. The performance of the rotor passage deviates from the steady performance and a hysteresis loop, which encapsulates the steady condition, is formed. Moreover, the unsteadiness of the impeller performance is enhanced as the mass flow rate reduces. The pulsating performance and flow structures near stall are more favorable than those seen at constant backpressure. The flow behavior at points with the same instantaneous mass flow rate is substantially different at different time locations on the pulse. The flow in the impeller is determined by not only the instantaneous boundary condition but also by the evolution history of flow field. This study provides insights in the influence of pulsating backpressure on compressor performance in actual engine situations, from which better turbo-engine matching might be benefited.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041006-041006-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041676.

Lean burn combustion is increasing its popularity in the aeronautical framework due to its potential in reducing drastically pollutant emissions (NOx and soot in particular). Its implementation, however, involves significant issues related to the increased amount of air dedicated to the combustion process, demanding the redesign of injection and cooling systems. Also, the conditions at the combustor exit are a concern, as high turbulence, residual swirl, and the impossibility to adjust the temperature profile with dilution holes determine a harsher environment for nozzle guide vanes. This work describes the final stages of the design of an aeronautical effusion-cooled lean burn combustor. Full annular tests were carried out to measure temperature profiles and emissions (CO and NOx) at the combustor exit. Different operating conditions of the ICAO cycle were tested, considering Idle, Cruise, Approach, and Take-off. Scale-adaptive simulations with the flamelet generated manifold (FGM) combustion model were performed to extend the validation of the employed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology and to reproduce the experimental data in terms of radial temperature distribution factor (RTDF)/overall temperature distribution factor (OTDF) profiles as well as emission indexes (EIs). The satisfactory agreement paved the way to an exploitation of the methodology to provide a deeper understanding of the flow physics within the combustion chamber, highlighting the impact of the different operating conditions on flame, spray evolution, and pollutant formation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041007-041007-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041659.

One method frequently used to reduce NOx emissions is exhaust gas recirculation, where a portion of the exhaust gases, including NOx, is reintroduced into the combustion chamber. While a significant amount of research has been performed to understand the important fuel/NOx chemistry, more work is still necessary to improve the current understanding on this chemistry and to refine detailed kinetics models. To validate models beyond global kinetics data, such as ignition delay time or flame speed, the formation of H2O was recorded using a laser absorption diagnostic during the oxidation of a mixture representing a simplistic natural gas (90% CH4/10% C2H6 (mol)). This mixture was studied at a fuel lean condition (equivalence ratio = 0.5) and at atmospheric pressure. Unlike in conventional fuel-air experiments, NO2 was used as the oxidant to better elucidate the important, fundamental chemical kinetics by exaggerating the interaction between NOx and hydrocarbon-based species. Results showed a peculiar water formation profile, compared to a former study performed in similar conditions with O2 as oxidant. In the presence of NO2, the formation of water occurs almost immediately before it reaches more or less rapidly (depending on the temperature) a plateau. Modern, detailed kinetics models predict the data with fair to good accuracy overall, while the GRI 3.0 mechanism is proven inadequate for reproducing CH4/C2H6 and NO2 interactions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041008-041008-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041674.

Degradation modeling and prediction of remaining useful life (RUL) are crucial to prognostics and health management of aircraft engines. While model-based methods have been introduced to predict the RUL of aircraft engines, little research has been reported on estimating the RUL of aircraft engines using novel data-driven predictive modeling methods. The objective of this study is to introduce an ensemble learning-based prognostic approach to modeling an exponential degradation process due to wear as well as predicting the RUL of aircraft engines. The ensemble learning algorithm combines multiple base learners, including random forests (RFs), classification and regression tree (CART), recurrent neural networks (RNN), autoregressive (AR) model, adaptive network-based fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), relevance vector machine (RVM), and elastic net (EN), to achieve better predictive performance. The particle swarm optimization (PSO) and sequential quadratic optimization (SQP) methods are used to determine optimum weights that are assigned to the base learners. The predictive model trained by the ensemble learning algorithm is demonstrated on the data generated by the commercial modular aero-propulsion system simulation (C-MAPSS) tool. Experimental results have shown that the ensemble learning algorithm predicts the RUL of the aircraft engines with considerable robustness as well as outperforms other prognostic methods reported in the literature.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041009-041009-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041675.

The introduction of natural gas (NG) in the road transport market is proceeding through bifuel vehicles, which, endowed of a double-injection system, can run either with gasoline or with NG. A third possibility is the simultaneous combustion of NG and gasoline, called double-fuel (DF) combustion: the addition of methane to gasoline allows to run the engine with stoichiometric air even at full load, without knocking phenomena, increasing engine efficiency of about 26% and cutting pollutant emissions by 90%. The introduction of DF combustion into series production vehicles requires, however, proper engine calibration (i.e., determination of DF injection and spark timing maps), a process which is drastically shortened by the use of computer simulations (with a 0D two zone approach for in-cylinder processes). An original knock onset prediction model is here proposed to be employed in zero-dimensional simulations for knock-safe performances optimization of engines fueled by gasoline-NG mixtures or gasoline-methane mixtures. The model takes into account the negative temperature coefficient (NTC) behavior of fuels and has been calibrated using a considerable amount of knocking in-cylinder pressure cycles acquired on a Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine widely varying compression ratio (CR), inlet temperature, spark advance (SA), and fuel mixture composition, thus giving the model a general validity for the simulation of naturally aspirated or supercharged engines. As a result, the auto-ignition onset is predicted with maximum and mean error of 4.5 and 1.4 crank angle degrees (CAD), respectively, which is a negligible quantity from an engine control standpoint.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041010-041010-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041656.

In the present work, the fluctuations of equivalence ratio in the PRECCINSTA combustor are investigated via large eddy simulations (LES). Four isothermal flow cases with different combinations of global equivalence ratios (0.7 or 0.83) and grids (1.2 or 1.8 million cells) are simulated to study the mixing process of air with methane, which is injected into the inlet channel through small holes. It is shown that the fluctuations of equivalence ratio are very large, and their ranges are [0.4, 1.3] and [0.3, 1.2] for cases 0.83 and 0.7, respectively. For simulating turbulent partially premixed flames in this burner with the well-known dynamically thickened flame (DTF) combustion model, a suitable multistep reaction mechanism should be chosen aforehand. To do that, laminar premixed flames of 15 different equivalence ratios are calculated using three different methane/air reaction mechanisms: 2S_CH4_BFER, 2sCM2 reduced mechanisms and GRI-Mech 3.0 detailed reaction mechanism. The variations of flame temperature, flame speed and thickness of the laminar flames with the equivalence ratios are compared in detail. It is demonstrated that the applicative equivalence ratio range for the 2S_CH4_BFER mechanism is [0.5, 1.3], which is larger than that of the 2sCM2 mechanism [0.5, 1.2]. Therefore, it is recommended to use the 2S_CH4_BFER scheme to simulate the partially premixed flames in the PRECCINSTA combustion chamber.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041011-041011-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041740.

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.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041012-041012-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041651.

Wind turbine industry has a special need for accurate post stall airfoil data. While literature often covers incidence ranges [−10 deg, +25 deg], smaller machines experience a range of up to 90 deg for horizontal axis and up to 360 deg for vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs). The post stall data of airfoils is crucial to improve the prediction of the start-up behavior as well as the performance at low tip speed ratios. The present paper analyzes and discusses the performance of the symmetrical NACA 0021 airfoil at three Reynolds numbers (Re = 100 k, 140 k, and 180 k) through 180 deg incidence. The typical problem of blockage within a wind tunnel was avoided using an open test section. The experiments were conducted in terms of surface pressure distribution over the airfoil for a tripped and a baseline configuration. The pressure was used to gain lift, pressure drag, moment data. Further investigations with positive and negative pitching revealed a second hysteresis loop in the deep post stall region resulting in a difference of 0.2 in moment coefficient and 0.5 in lift.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041013-041013-9. doi:10.1115/1.4041283.

Injection flow dynamics plays a significant role in fuel spray; this process controls the fuel–air mixing, which in turn is critical for the combustion and emissions process in diesel engine. In the current study, an integrated spray, combustion, and emission numerical model is developed for diesel engine computations based on the general transport equation analysis (GTEA) code. The model is first applied to predict the effect of turbulence inside the nozzle, which is considered by the submodel of hybrid breakup model on diesel spray process. The results indicate that turbulence term enhances the rate of breakup, resulting in more new droplets and smaller droplet sizes, leading to high evaporation rate with more evaporated mass. The model is also applied to simulate combustion and soot formation process of diesel. The effects of ambient density, ambient temperature, oxygen concentration and reaction mechanism on ignition delay, flame lift-off length, and soot formation are analyzed and discussed. The results show that although higher ambient density and temperature reduce the ignition delay and cause the flame stabilization location to move upstream, this is not helpful for fuel–air mixing because it increases the soot level in the fuel jet. While higher oxygen concentration has negative effects on soot formation. In addition, the model is employed to simulate the combustion and emission characteristics of a low-temperature combustion engine. The overall agreement between the measurements and predictions of in-cylinder pressure, heat release, and emission characteristics are satisfactory.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041014-041014-13. doi:10.1115/1.4041519.

After almost 20 years of absence from research agendas, interest in the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) technology is presently increasing again, after the research stalled in the mid 90's in favor of horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). However, due to the lack of research in past years, there are a significantly lower number of design and certification tools available, many of which are underdeveloped if compared to the corresponding tools for HAWTs. To partially fulfill this gap, a structural finite element analysis (FEA) model, based on the Open Source multiphysics library PROJECT::CHRONO, was recently integrated with the lifting line free vortex wake (LLFVW) method inside the Open Source wind turbine simulation code QBlade and validated against numerical and experimental data of the SANDIA 34 m rotor. In this work, some details about the newly implemented nonlinear structural model and its coupling to the aerodynamic solver are first given. Then, in a continuous effort to assess its accuracy, the code capabilities were here tested on a small-scale, fast-spinning (up to 450 rpm) VAWT. The study turbine is a helix shaped, 1 kW Darrieus turbine, for which other numerical analyses were available from a previous study, including the results coming from both a one-dimensional beam element model and a more sophisticated shell element model. The resulting data represented an excellent basis for comparison and validation of the new aero-elastic coupling in QBlade. Based on the structural and aerodynamic data of the study turbine, an aero-elastic model was then constructed. A purely aerodynamic comparison to experimental data and a blade element momentum (BEM) simulation represented the benchmark for QBlade aerodynamic performance. Then, a purely structural analysis was carried out and compared to the numerical results from the former. After the code validation, an aero-elastically coupled simulation of a rotor self-start has been performed to demonstrate the capabilities of the newly developed model to predict the highly nonlinear transient aerodynamic and structural rotor response.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041015-041015-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041002.

Optimized operation of gas turbines is discussed for a fleet of 11 GE LM2500PE engines at a Statoil North Sea offshore field in Norway. Three engines are generator drivers, and eight engines are compressor drivers. Several of the compressor drive engines are running at peak load (T5.4 control), hence, the production rate is limited by the available power from these engines. The majority of the engines discussed run continuously without redundancy, hence, the gas turbine uptime is critical for the field's production and economy. The performance and operational experience with online water wash at high water-to-air ratio (w.a.r.), as well as successful operation at longer maintenance intervals and higher average engine performance are described. The water-to-air ratio is significantly increased compared to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) limit (OEM limit is 17 l/min which yields approximately 0.5% water-to-air ratio). Today the engines are operated at a water rate of 50 l/min (three times the OEM limit) which yields a 1.4% water-to-air ratio. Such a high water-to-air ratio has been proven to be the key parameter for obtaining good online water wash effectiveness. Possible downsides of high water-to-air ratio have been thoroughly studied.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041016-041016-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040906.

Single crystal blades used in high pressure turbine bladed disks of modern gas-turbine engines exhibit material anisotropy. In this paper, the sensitivity analysis is performed to quantify the effects of blade material anisotropy orientation on deformation of a mistuned bladed disk under static centrifugal load. For a realistic, high fidelity model of a bladed disk both: (i) linear and (ii) nonlinear friction contact conditions at blade roots and shrouds are considered. The following two kinds of analysis are performed: (i) local sensitivity analysis (LSA), based on first-order derivatives of system response with respect to design parameters, and (ii) statistical analysis using polynomial chaos expansion (PCE). The PCE is used to transfer the uncertainty in random input parameters to uncertainty in static deformation of the bladed disk. An effective strategy, using gradient information, is proposed to address the “curse of dimensionality” problem associated with statistical analysis of realistic bladed disk.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041017-041017-13. doi:10.1115/1.4041025.

Lean premixed (LPM) combustion systems are susceptible to thermoacoustic instability, which occurs when acoustic pressure oscillations are in phase with the unsteady heat release rates. Porous media has inherent acoustic damping properties and has been shown to mitigate thermoacoustic instability; however, theoretical models for predicting thermoacoustic instability with porous media do not exist. In the present study, a one-dimensional (1D) model has been developed for the linear stability analysis of the longitudinal modes for a series of constant cross-sectional area ducts with porous media using a n-Tau flame transfer function (FTF). By studying the linear regime, the prediction of acoustic growth rates and subsequently the stability of the system is possible. A transfer matrix approach is used to solve for acoustic perturbations of pressure and velocity, stability growth rate, and frequency shift without and with porous media. The Galerkin approximation is used to approximate the stability growth rate and frequency shift, and it is compared to the numerical solution of the governing equations. Porous media is modeled using the following properties: porosity, flow resistivity, effective bulk modulus, and structure factor. The properties of porous media are systematically varied to determine the impact on the eigenfrequencies and stability growth rates. Porous media is shown to increase the stability domain for a range of time delays (Tau) compared to similar cases without porous media.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041018-041018-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041273.

The rapid growth of renewable generation and its intermittent nature has modified the role of combined cycle power stations in the energy industry, and the key feature for the operational excellence is now flexibility. Especially, the capability to start an installation quickly and efficiently after a shutdown period leads to lower operational cost and a higher capacity factor. However, most of existing thermal power stations worldwide are designed for continuous operation, with no special focus on an efficient start-up process. In most current start-up procedures, the gas turbine controls ensure maximum heat flow to the heat recovery steam generator, without feedback from the steam cycle. The steam cycle start-up controls work independently with as main control parameter the limitation of the thermal stresses in the steam turbine rotor. In this paper, a novel start-up procedure of an existing combined cycle power station is presented, and it uses a feedback loop between the steam turbine, the boiler and the gas turbine start-up controls. This feedback loop ensures that the steam turbine can be started up with a significant reduction in stresses. To devise and assess this start-up methodology, a flexible and accurate dynamic model was implemented in the Simulink environment. It contains >100 component blocks (heat exchangers, valves, meters and sensors, turbines, controls, etc.), and the mathematical component submodels are based on physical models and experimental correlations. This makes the model generally applicable to other power plant installations. The model was validated against process data related to the three start-up types (cold start, warm start, hot start). On this basis, the optimization model is implemented with feedback loops that control, for example, the exit temperature of the gas turbine based on the actual steam turbine housing temperature, resulting in a smoother heating up of the steam turbine. The optimization model was used to define the optimal inlet guide vanes position and gas turbine power output curves for the three types of start-up. These curves were used during real power station start-ups, leading to, for cold and warm starts, reductions in the start-up time of, respectively, 32.5% and 31.8%, and reductions in the fuel consumption of, respectively, 47.0% and 32.4%. A reduction of the thermal stress in the steam turbines is also achieved, thanks to the new start-up strategy.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041019-041019-8. doi:10.1115/1.4040808.

An efficient surrogate fuel formulation methodology, which directly uses the chemical structure information from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy analysis, has been proposed. Five functional groups, paraffinic CH2, paraffinic CH3, aromatic C-CH, olefinic CH-CH2, and cycloparaffin CH2, have been selected to show the basic molecular structure of the fuels for the advanced combustion engines (FACE) fuels. A palette that contains six candidate components, n-heptane, iso-octane, toluene, 2,5-dimethylhexane, methylcyclohexane, and 1-hexene, is chosen for different FACE fuels, based on the consideration that surrogate mixtures should provide the representative functional groups and comparable molecular sizes. The kinetic mechanisms of these six candidate components are chosen to assemble a detailed mechanism of each surrogate fuel for FACE gasoline. Whereafter, the accuracy of FACE A and F surrogate models was demonstrated by comparing the model predictions against experimental data in homogeneous ignition, jet stirred reactor oxidation, and premixed flame.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041020-041020-12. doi:10.1115/1.4040714.

Modern lean burn aero-engine combustors make use of relevant swirl degrees for flame stabilization. Moreover, important temperature distortions are generated, in tangential and radial directions, due to discrete fuel injection and liner cooling flows respectively. At the same time, more efficient devices are employed for liner cooling and a less intense mixing with the mainstream occurs. As a result, aggressive swirl fields, high turbulence intensities, and strong hot streaks are achieved at the turbine inlet. In order to understand combustor-turbine flow field interactions, it is mandatory to collect reliable experimental data at representative flow conditions. While the separated effects of temperature, swirl, and turbulence on the first turbine stage have been widely investigated, reduced experimental data is available when it comes to consider all these factors together.In this perspective, an annular three-sector combustor simulator with fully cooled high pressure vanes has been designed and installed at the THT Lab of University of Florence. The test rig is equipped with three axial swirlers, effusion cooled liners, and six film cooled high pressure vanes passages, for a vortex-to-vane count ratio of 1:2. The relative clocking position between swirlers and vanes has been chosen in order to have the leading edge of the central NGV aligned with the central swirler. In order to generate representative conditions, a heated mainstream passes though the axial swirlers of the combustor simulator, while the effusion cooled liners are fed by air at ambient temperature. The resulting flow field exiting from the combustor simulator and approaching the cooled vane can be considered representative of a modern Lean Burn aero engine combustor with swirl angles above ±50 deg, turbulence intensities up to about 28% and maximum-to-minimum temperature ratio of about 1.25. With the final aim of investigating the hot streaks evolution through the cooled high pressure vane, the mean aerothermal field (temperature, pressure, and velocity fields) has been evaluated by means of a five-hole probe equipped with a thermocouple and traversed upstream and downstream of the NGV cascade.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041021-041021-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040716.

Phosphor thermometry has been developed for wall temperature measurements in gas turbines and gas turbine model combustors. An array of phosphors has been examined in detail for spatially and temporally resolved surface temperature measurements. Two examples are provided, one at high pressure (8 bar) and high temperature and one at atmospheric pressure with high time resolution. To study the feasibility of this technique for full-scale gas turbine applications, a high momentum confined jet combustor at 8 bar was used. Successful measurements up to 1700 K on a ceramic surface are shown with good accuracy. In the same combustor, temperatures on the combustor quartz walls were measured, which can be used as boundary conditions for numerical simulations. An atmospheric swirl-stabilized flame was used to study transient temperature changes on the bluff body. For this purpose, a high-speed setup (1 kHz) was used to measure the wall temperatures at an operating condition where the flame switches between being attached (M-flame) and being lifted (V-flame) (bistable). The influence of a precessing vortex core (PVC) present during M-flame periods is identified on the bluff body tip, but not at positions further inside the nozzle.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041022-041022-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040732.

Among the major concerns for high aspect-ratio, turbine blades are forced and self-excited (flutter) vibrations, which can cause failure by high-cycle fatigue (HCF). The introduction of friction damping in turbine blades, such as by coupling of adjacent blades via under platform dampers, can lead to a significant reduction of resonance amplitudes at critical operational conditions. In this paper, the influence of basic geometric blade design parameters onto the damped system response will be investigated to link design parameters with functional parameters like damper normal load, frequently used in nonlinear dynamic analysis. The shape of a simplified turbine blade is parameterized along with the under platform damper configuration. The airfoil is explicitly included into the parameterization in order to account for changes in blade mode shapes. For evaluation of the damped system response, a reduced-order model for nonlinear friction damping is included into an automated three-dimensional (3D) finite element analysis (FEA) tool-chain. Based on a design of experiments approach, the design space will be sampled and surrogate models will be trained on the received dataset. Subsequently, the mean and interaction effects of the geometric design parameters onto the resonance amplitude and safety against HCF will be outlined. The HCF safety is found to be affected by strong secondary effects onto static and resonant vibratory stress levels. Applying an evolutionary optimization algorithm, it is shown that the optimum blade design with respect to minimum vibratory response can differ significantly from a blade designed toward maximum HCF safety.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041023-041023-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040899.

An engine health management (EHM) system typically consists of automated logic for data acquisition, parameter calculation, anomaly detection and eventually, fault identification (or isolation). Accurate fault isolation is pivotal to timely and cost-effective maintenance but is often challenging due to limited fault symptom observability and the intricacy of reasoning with heterogeneous parameters. Traditional fault isolation methods often utilize a single fault isolator (SFI) that primarily relies on gas path performance parameters. While effective for many performance-related faults, such approaches often suffer from ambiguity when two or more faults have signatures that are very similar when monitored by a rather limited number of gas path sensors. In these cases, the ambiguity often has to be resolved by experienced analysts using additional information that takes many different forms, such as various nongas path symptoms, full authority digital engine control fault codes, comparisons with the companion engine, maintenance records, and quite often, the analyst's gas turbine domain knowledge. This paper introduces an intelligent reasoner that combines the strength of an optimal, physics-based SFI and a fuzzy expert system that mimics the analytical process of human experts for ambiguity resolution. A prototype diagnostic reasoner software has been developed and evaluated using existing flight data. Significant performance improvements were observed as compared with traditional SFI results. As a generic reasoning framework, this approach can be applied not only to traditional snapshot data, but to full flight data analytics as well.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041024-041024-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040749.

In this paper, different notch and partition wall arrangements of a fully partitioned pocket damper seal (FPDS) are investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The CFD model is derived for a baseline FPDS design reflecting the full sealing configuration with a structured mesh. Steady-state simulations are performed for eccentric rotor position and different operational parameters. The results are validated using experimental cavity pressure measurements. In transient computations, rotor whirl is modeled as a circular motion around an initial eccentricity using a moving mesh technique. Different whirl frequencies are computed to account for the frequency-dependent behavior of damper seals. The stiffness and damping coefficients are evaluated from the impedances in the frequency domain using a fast Fourier transform. The validated model is then transferred to varying designs. In addition to the baseline design, six different notch arrangements with constant clearance ratio were modeled. Moreover, two partition wall design variations were studied based on manufacturability considerations. Predicted leakage as well as frequency-dependent stiffness and damping coefficients are presented and the impact of geometry variations on these parameters is discussed. The results suggest that a single centered notch is favorable and indicate considerably higher effective damping for a design with staggered partition walls. A rounded partition wall design with significantly eased manufacturing reveals good performance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041025-041025-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040744.

This work presents the atomization characteristics and dynamics of water-in-heptane (W/H) emulsions injected into a gaseous crossflow. W/H mixtures were tested while varying momentum flux ratios and aerodynamic Weber numbers. Different injector orifice diameters and orifice length-to-diameter ratios were used to test the generality of the results. The atomization properties of W/H mixtures were compared with properties of neat water and neat heptane to evaluate the effect of an emulsion on droplet sizing, cross-sectional stability and dispersion, and jet penetration depth. Liquid dynamics were extracted through analyzing instantaneous spray measurements and dynamic mode decomposition (DMD) on high-speed video recordings of the atomization processes. Correlations were proposed to establish preliminary relationships between fundamental spray processes and test conditions. These correlations allowed for emulsion behavior to be compared with neat liquid behavior. The use of emulsions induces greater spray instability than through using neat liquids, likely due to the difficulty in injecting a stable emulsion. Neat liquid correlations were produced and successfully predicted various spray measurements. These correlations, however, indicate that injector geometry has an effect on spray properties, which need to be addressed independently. The emulsions are unable to adhere to the neat liquid correlations suggesting that an increased number of correlation terms are required to adequately predict emulsion behavior.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041026-041026-16. doi:10.1115/1.4041003.

A centrifugal compressor requires a wide operating range as well as a high efficiency. At high pressure ratios, the impeller discharge velocity becomes transonic and effective pressure recovery in a vaned or vaneless diffuser is necessary. At high pressure ratios, a vaned diffuser is used as it has high pressure recovery, but may have a narrow operating range. At low flow, diffuser stall may trigger surge. At high flow, choking in the throat of the vanes may limit the maximum flow rate. A low solidity diffuser allows a good pressure recovery because it has vanes to guide the flow and a wide operating range as there is no geometrical throat to limit the maximum flow. In experimental studies at a pressure ratio around 4:1, the author has replaced vaned diffusers with a range of low solidity diffusers to try to broaden the operating range. The test results showed that the low solidity diffuser also chokes. In this paper, a virtual throat is defined and its existence is confirmed by flow visualization and pressure measurements. A method to select low solidity diffusers is proposed based on test data and the fundamental nature of the flow. The extension of the proposed method to the selection of a vaneless diffuser is examined and a design approach for a vaneless diffuser system to minimize surge flow rate without limiting the attainable maximum flow rate is proposed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041027-041027-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041001.

The search for ever lighter weight has become a major goal in the aeronautical industry as it has a direct impact on fuel consumption. It also implies the design of increasingly thin structures made of sophisticated and flexible materials. This may result in nonlinear behaviors due to large structural displacements. Stator vanes can be affected by such phenomena, and as they are a critical part of turbojets, it is crucial to predict these behaviors during the design process in order to eliminate them. This paper presents a reduced order modeling process suited for the study of geometric nonlinearities. The method is derived from a classical component mode synthesis (CMS) with fixed interfaces, in which the reduced nonlinear terms are obtained through a stiffness evaluation procedure (STEP) procedure using an adapted basis composed of linear modes completed by modal derivatives (MD). The whole system is solved using a harmonic balance procedure and a classic iterative nonlinear solver. The application is implemented on a schematic stator vane model composed of nonlinear Euler–Bernoulli beams under von Kàrmàn assumptions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041028-041028-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040862.

The fundamental impact of the precessing vortex core (PVC) as a dominant coherent flow structure in the flow field of swirl-stabilized gas turbine combustors has still not been investigated in depth. In order to do so, the PVC needs to be actively controlled to be able to set its parameters independently to any other of the combustion system. In this work, open-loop actuation is applied in the mixing section between the swirler and the generic combustion chamber of a nonreacting swirling jet setup to investigate the receptivity of the PVC with regard to its lock-in behavior at different streamwise positions. The mean flow in the mixing section as well as in the combustion chamber is measured by stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV), and the PVC is extracted from the snapshots using proper orthogonal decomposition (POD). The lock-in experiments reveal the axial position in the mixing section that is most suitable for actuation. Furthermore, a global linear stability analysis (LSA) is conducted to determine the adjoint mode of the PVC which reveals the regions of highest receptivity to periodic actuation based on mean flow input only. This theoretical receptivity model is compared with the experimentally obtained receptivity data, and the applicability of the adjoint-based model for the prediction of optimal actuator designs is discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041029-041029-5. doi:10.1115/1.4041006.

Online evaluation of possible failures of a turbine is a key factor for a successful long-term turbine operation. Fluctuations of generator air-gap torque, caused for example by nonstationary conditions of electrical power grid, influence shaft torsional vibrations as well as rotating blades vibrations. Symptoms of shaft torsional vibrations are not measurable by normally used relative shaft vibrations sensors, so special measurement must be used. The direct consequence of shaft torsional vibrations is local acceleration or deceleration of shaft circumference when it is measured by a stationary sensor. This paper deals with a measurement method using an optical probe measuring the passage of black and white stripes of a zebra tape, which is stuck on the rotor. The shaft torsional vibrations manifest themselves as a phase modulation of the optical probe output signal, so the sampling rate influence the achievable resolution of the calculated shaft vibrations. The presented method for the calculation of the shaft torsional vibrations is based on the evaluation of shaft instantaneous angular velocity. The advantage of this method is a direct compensation of possible nonregular geometry of the zebra tape. The analysis of shaft torsional vibrations evaluation using this method is supplemented by two case studies from the authors' current work.

Topics: Vibration , Signals
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041030-041030-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041007.

Gas-turbine combustion chambers typically consist of nominally identical sectors arranged in a rotationally symmetric pattern. However, in practice, the geometry is not perfectly symmetric. This may be due to design decisions, such as placing dampers in an azimuthally nonuniform fashion, or to uncertainties in the design parameters, which break the rotational symmetry of the combustion chamber. The question is whether these deviations from symmetry have impact on the thermoacoustic-stability calculation. The paper addresses this question by proposing a fast adjoint-based perturbation method. This method can be integrated into numerical frameworks that are industrial standard such as lumped-network models, Helmholtz and linearized Euler equations. The thermoacoustic stability of asymmetric combustion chambers is investigated by perturbing rotationally symmetric combustor models. The approach proposed in this paper is applied to a realistic three-dimensional combustion chamber model with an experimentally measured flame transfer function (FTF). The model equations are solved with a Helmholtz solver. Results for modes of zeroth, first, and second azimuthal order are presented and compared to exact solutions of the problem. A focus of the discussion is set on the loss of mode-degeneracy due to symmetry breaking and the capability of the perturbation theory to accurately predict it. In particular, an “inclination rule” that explains the behavior of degenerate eigenvalues at first order is proven.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041031-041031-7. doi:10.1115/1.4041009.

The microstructure and mechanical properties of materials produced by wide gap brazing (WGB) and laser beam (LBW) cladding with different blends of Mar M247 and Amdry DF-3 brazing powders were studied. It was shown that LBW Mar M247-based materials comprised of 0.6 to 1 wt % B were weldable. The weld properties were superior to WGB deposits with the same bulk chemical composition, due to the formation of a dendritic structure typical for welded joints, and the precipitation of cuboidal borides of Cr, Mo, and W in the ductile Ni–Cr based matrix. Both materials were found to have useful properties for three-dimensional (3D) additive manufacturing (AM) and repair components manufactured from high gamma prime precipitation hardened superalloys.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041032-041032-7. doi:10.1115/1.4040908.

In a recent joint research project, a new FLOX®-combustion system was developed to couple a fixed-bed gasifier with a micro gas turbine (MGT). Product gases from biomass gasification exhibit low calorific values and varying compositions of mainly H2, CO, CO2, N2, and CH4. Furthermore, combustion characteristics differ significantly compared to the commonly used natural gas. As the FLOX-technology is considered as efficient and fuel-flexible featuring low emissions of hazardous pollutants, the design of the lower calorific value (LCV) combustor is based on it. It contains a two-staged combustor consisting of a jet-stabilized main stage adapted from the FLOX-concept combined with a swirl stabilized pilot stage. The combustor was operated in a Turbec T100 test rig using an optically accessible combustion chamber, which allowed OH*-chemiluminescence and OH-PLIF measurements for various fuel compositions. In particular, the hydrogen content in the synthetically mixed fuel gas was varied from 0% to 30%. The exhaust gas composition was additionally analyzed regarding CO, NOx, and unburned hydrocarbons. The results provide a comprehensive insight into the flame behavior during turbine operation. Efficient combustion and stable operation of the MGT was observed for all fuel compositions, while the hydrogen showed a strong influence. It is remarkable that with hydrogen contents higher than 9%, no OH radicals were detected within the inner recirculation zone, while they were increasingly entrained below hydrogen contents of 9%. Without hydrogen, the inner recirculation zone was completely filled with OH radicals and the highest concentrations were detected there. Therefore, the results indicate a different flame behavior with low and high hydrogen contents. Although the flame shape and position were affected, pollutant emissions remained consistently below 10 ppm based on 15% O2. Only in the case of 0% hydrogen, CO-emissions increased to 43 ppm, which are still meeting the emission limits. Thus, the combustor allows operation with syngases having hydrogen contents from 0% to 30%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041034-041034-8. doi:10.1115/1.4041110.

During rapid engine throttling operations, turbine airfoils can experience very rapid heating and cooling, particularly at take-off conditions. These rapid transient events lead to the generation of high thermal gradients and nonuniform stress distributions through the thermal barrier coating (TBC), environmental barrier/bond coating, and substrate. This, in turn, can lead to coating delamination, overheat of the substrate materials, creep, and thermo-mechanical fatigue of the part. We present the process and computer modeling methodology for a physics-based prediction of deformation, damage, crack propagation and local failure modes in coated turbine airfoils and other parts operating at hot section turbine environment conditions as a function of engine operational regimes, with a particular emphasis on rapid transient events. The overall goal is to predict the effects and severity of the cooling and heating thermal rates on transient thermal mechanical fatigue life of coated hot parts (turbine airfoils, blade outer air seals, and combustor liners). The computational analysis incorporates time-accurate, coupled aerothermodynamics with nonlinear deformation thermal-structural finite element modeling, and fracture mechanics modeling for high-rate thermal transient events. TBC thermal failure and spallation are introduced by the use of interface fracture toughness and interface property evolution as well as dissipated energy rate. The spallation model allows estimations of the part remaining life as a function of the heating/cooling rates. Applicability of the developed model is verified using experimental coupons and calibrated against burner rig test data for high-flux thermal cycles. Our results show a decrease in TBC spall life due to high-rate transient events.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041035-041035-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040903.

In steam turbine control valves, pressure fluctuations coupled with vortex structures in highly unsteady three-dimensional flows are essential contributors to the aerodynamic forces on the valve components, and are major sources of flow-induced vibrations and acoustic emissions. Advanced turbulence models can capture the detailed flow information of the control valve; however, it is challenging to identify the primary flow structures, due to the massive flow database. In this study, state-of-the-art data-driven analyses, namely, proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and extended-POD, were used to extract the energetic pressure fluctuations and dominant vortex structures of the control valve. To this end, the typical annular attachment flow inside a steam turbine control valve was investigated by carrying out a detached eddy simulation (DES). Thereafter, the energetic pressure fluctuation modes were determined by conducting POD analysis on the pressure field of the valve. The vortex structures contributing to the energetic pressure fluctuation modes were determined by conducting extended-POD analysis on the pressure–velocity coupling field. Finally, the dominant vortex structures were revealed conducting a direct POD analysis of the velocity field. The results revealed that the flow instabilities inside the control valve were mainly induced by oscillations of the annular wall-attached jet and the derivative flow separations and reattachments. Moreover, the POD analysis of the pressure field revealed that most of the pressure fluctuation intensity comprised the axial, antisymmetric, and asymmetric pressure modes. By conducting extended-POD analysis, the incorporation of the vortex structures with the energetic pressure modes was observed to coincide with the synchronous, alternating, and single-sided oscillation behaviors of the annular attachment flow. However, based on the POD analysis of the unsteady velocity fields, the vortex structures, buried in the dominant modes at St = 0.017, were found to result from the alternating oscillation behaviors of the annular attachment flow.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):041036-041036-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040866.

The demand for clean energy continues to increase as the human society becomes more aware of environmental challenges such as global warming. Various power systems based on high-temperature fuel cells have been proposed, especially hybrid systems combining a fuel cell with a gas turbine (GT), and research on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases is already underway. This study suggests a new method to innovatively enhance the efficiency of a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC)/micro GT hybrid system including carbon capture. The key technology adopted to improve the net cycle efficiency is off-gas recirculation. The hybrid system incorporating oxy-combustion capture was devised, and its performance was compared with that of a post-combustion system based on a hybrid system. A MCFC system based on a commercial unit was modeled. Externally supplied water for reforming was not needed as a result of the presence of the water vapor in the recirculated anode off-gas. The analyses confirmed that the thermal efficiencies of all the systems (MCFC stand-alone, hybrid, hybrid with oxy-combustion capture, hybrid with post-combustion capture) were significantly improved by introducing the off-gas recirculation. In particular, the largest efficiency improvement was observed for the oxy-combustion hybrid system. Its efficiency is over 57% and is even higher than that of the post-combustion hybrid system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):042501-042501-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041123.

Labyrinth gas seals (LSs) commonly used in turbomachines reduce secondary flow leakage. Conventional see-through labyrinth seal designs include either all teeth-on-stator (TOS) or all teeth-on-rotor (TOR). Experience shows that an interlocking labyrinth seal (ILS), with teeth on both stator and rotor, reduces gas leakage by up to 30% compared to the conventional see-through designs. However, field data for ILS rotordynamic characteristics are still vague and scarce in the literature. This work presents flow predictions for an ILS and a TOS LS, both seals share identical design features, namely radial clearance Cr = 0.2 mm, rotor diameter D = 150 mm, tooth pitch Li = 3.75 mm, and tooth height B = 3 mm. Air enters the seal at supply pressure Pin = 3.8, 6.9 bar (absolute) and temperature of 25 °C. The ratio of gas exit pressure to supply pressure ranges from 0.5 to 0.8, and the rotor speed is fixed at 10 krpm (surface speed of 79 m/s). The analysis implements a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method with a multi-frequency-orbit rotor whirl model. The CFD predicted mass flow rate for the ILS is ∼ 21% lower than that of the TOS LS, thus making the ILS a more efficient choice. Integration of the dynamic pressure fields in the seal cavities, obtained for excitation frequency (ω) ranging from 12% to 168% of rotor speed (sub and super synchronous whirl), allows an accurate estimation of the seal dynamic force coefficients. For all the considered operating conditions, at low frequency range, the TOS LS shows a negative direct stiffness (K < 0), frequency independent; whereas the ILS has K > 0 that increases with both frequency and supply pressure. For both seals, the magnitude of K decreases when the exit pressure/inlet pressure ratio increases. On the other hand, the cross-coupled stiffness (k) from both seals is frequency dependent, its magnitude increases with gas supply pressure, and k for the ILS is more sensitive to a change in the exit/inlet pressure ratio. Notably, k turns negative for subsynchronous frequencies below rotor speed (Ω) for both the TOS LS and the ILS. The direct damping (C) for the TOS LS remains constant for ω > ½ Ω and has a larger magnitude than the damping for the ILS over the frequency range up to 1.5 Ω. An increase in exit/inlet pressure ratio decreases the direct damping for both seals. The effective damping coefficient, Ceff = (C-k/ω), whenever positive aids to damp vibrations, whereas Ceff < 0 is a potential source for an instability. For frequencies ω/Ω < 1.3, Ceff for the TOS LS is higher in magnitude than that for the ILS. From a rotordynamics point of view, the ILS is not a sound selection albeit it reduces leakage. Comparison of the CFD predicted force coefficients against those from a bulk flow model demonstrates that the later simple model delivers poor results, often contradictory and largely indifferent to the type of seal, ILS or TOS LS. In addition, CFD model predictions are benchmarked against experimental dynamic force coefficients for two TOS LSs published by Ertas et al. (2012, “Rotordynamic Force Coefficients for Three Types of Annular Gas Seals With Inlet Preswirl and High Differential Pressure Ratio,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 134(4), pp. 04250301–04250312) and Vannini et al. (2014, “Labyrinth Seal and Pocket Damper Seal High Pressure Rotordynamic Test Data,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 136(2), pp. 022501–022509.)

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):042502-042502-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040820.

This paper furthers recent research by these authors. The starting point is the pre-optimization of solid dampers, which ensures that all dampers bound to “misbehave” are excluded since the early design stage. The authors now enlarge the scope of their investigations to explore those damper configurations selected inside the admissible design area. The purpose of the paper is to present a set of criteria apt to select a damper configuration which not only avoids unwanted situations, but in addition guarantees high performance under different design conditions. The analysis starts with the definition of a set of requirements a high performance damper should meet. In detail, the present investigation seeks to answer the following questions: in the low excitation regime, what is the frequency shift and the stiffening effect each damper can provide? for increasing excitation levels, which damper will start slipping sooner? in the high excitation regime, which damper provides the maximum dissipation? Like pre-optimization, it does not involve nonlinear finite element calculations, and unlike existing optimization procedures, is not linked to a specific set of blades the damper may be coupled to. The numerical prediction of the blade-damper coupled dynamics is here used only for validation purposes. The approach on which this paper rests is fully numerical; however, real contact parameters are taken from extensive experimental investigations made possible by those purposely developed test rigs which are the distinctive mark of the AERMEC Lab of Politecnico di Torino.

Topics: Dampers , Blades
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):042503-042503-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040843.

Considering rotational speed-dependent stiffness for vibrational analysis of friction-damped bladed disk models has proven to lead to significant improvements in nonlinear frequency response curve computations. The accuracy of the result is driven by a suitable choice of reduction bases. Multimodel reduction combines various bases, which are valid for different parameter values. This composition reduces the solution error drastically. The resulting set of equations is typically solved by means of the harmonic balance method. Nonlinear forces are regularized by a Lagrangian approach embedded in an alternating frequency/time domain method providing the Fourier coefficients for the frequency domain solution. The aim of this paper is to expand the multimodel approach to address rotational speed-dependent contact situations. Various reduction bases derived from composing Craig–Bampton, Rubin–Martinez, and hybrid interface methods will be investigated with respect to their applicability to capture the changing contact situation correctly. The methods validity is examined based on small academic examples as well as large-scale industrial blade models. Coherent results show that the multimodel composition works successfully, even if multiple different reduction bases are used per sample point of variable rotational speed. This is an important issue in case that a contact situation for a specific value of the speed is uncertain forcing the algorithm to automatically choose a suitable basis. Additionally, the randomized singular value decomposition is applied to rapidly extract an appropriate multimodel basis. This approach improves the computational performance by orders of magnitude compared to the standard singular value decomposition, while preserving the ability to provide a best rank approximation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Internal Combustion Engines

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. 2018;141(4):042801-042801-13. doi:10.1115/1.4040578.

This paper proposes three different methods to estimate the low-pressure cooled exhaust gas recirculation (LP-EGR) mass flow rate based on in-cylinder pressure measurements. The proposed LP-EGR models are designed with various combustion parameters (CP), which are derived from (1) heat release analysis, (2) central moment calculation, and (3) principal component analysis (PCA). The heat release provides valuable insights into the combustion process, such as flame speed and energy release. The central moment calculation enables quantitative representations of the shape characteristics in the cylinder pressure. The PCA also allows the extraction of the influential features through simple mathematical calculations. In this paper, these approaches focus on extracting the CP that are highly correlated to the diluent effects of the LP-EGR, and the parameters are used as the input states of the polynomial regression models. Moreover, in order to resolve the effects of cycle-to-cycle variations on the estimation results, a static model-based Kalman filter is applied to the CP for the practically usable estimation. The fast and precise performance of the proposed models was validated in real-time engine experiments under steady and transient conditions. The proposed LP-EGR mass flow model was demonstrated under a wide range of steady-states with an R2 value over 0.98. The instantaneous response of the cycle-basis LP-EGR estimation was validated under transient operations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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