RESEARCH PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Aerodynamically Induced Radial Forces in a Centrifugal Gas Compressor: Part 2—Computational Investigation

[+] Author and Article Information
M. B. Flathers

Solar Turbines Inc., 9330 Skypark Court, San Diego, CA 92123

G. E. Baché

Advanced Scientific Computing Corporation, EI Dorado Hills, CA

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 121(4), 725-734 (Oct 01, 1999) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2818533 History: Received March 03, 1997; Online December 03, 2007


Radial loads and direction of a centrifugal gas compressor containing a high specific speed mixed flow impeller and a single tongue volute were determined both experimentally and computationally at both design and off-design conditions. The experimental methodology was developed in conjunction with a traditional ASME PTC-10 closed-loop test to determine radial load and direction. The experimental study is detailed in Part 1 of this paper (Moore and Flathers, 1998). The computational method employs a commercially available, fully three-dimensional viscous code to analyze the impeller and the volute interaction. An uncoupled scheme was initially used where the impeller and volute were analyzed as separate models using a common vaneless diffuser geometry. The two calculations were then repeated until the boundary conditions at a chosen location in the common vaneless diffuser were nearly the same. Subsequently, a coupled scheme was used where the entire stage geometry was analyzed in one calculation, thus eliminating the need for manual iteration of the two independent calculations. In addition to radial load and direction information, this computational procedure also provided aerodynamic stage performance. The effect of impeller front face and rear face cavities was also quantified. The paper will discuss computational procedures, including grid generation and boundary conditions, as well as comparisons of the various computational schemes to experiment. The results of this study will show the limitations and benefits of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for determination of radial load, direction, and aerodynamic stage performance.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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