Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Experimental Evaluation of Compressor Blade Fouling

[+] Author and Article Information
Rainer Kurz

Solar Turbines, Incorporated,
San Diego, CA 92119
e-mail: rkurz@solarturbines.com

Grant Musgrove

Southwest Research Institute,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: grant.musgrove@swri.org

Klaus Brun

Southwest Research Institute,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: klaus.brun@swri.org

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 11, 2016; final manuscript received July 13, 2016; published online October 4, 2016. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(3), 032601 (Oct 04, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1328; doi: 10.1115/1.4034501 History: Received July 11, 2016; Revised July 13, 2016

Fouling of compressor blades is an important mechanism leading to performance deterioration in gas turbines over time. Experimental and simulation data are available for the impact of specified amounts of fouling on the performance as well as the amount of foulants entering the engine for defined air filtration systems and ambient conditions. This study provides experimental data on the amount of foulants in the air that actually stick to a blade surface for different conditions. Quantitative results both indicate the amount of dust as well as the distribution of dust on the airfoil, for a dry airfoil, and also the airfoils that were wet from ingested water, in addition to, different types of oil. The retention patterns are correlated with the boundary layer shear stress. The tests show the higher dust retention from wet surfaces compared to dry surfaces. They also provide information about the behavior of the particles after they impact on the blade surface, showing for a certain amount of wet film thickness, the shear forces actually wash the dust downstream and off the airfoil. Further, the effect of particle agglomeration of particles to form larger clusters was observed, which would explain the disproportional impact of very small particles on boundary layer losses.

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Kurz, R. , and Brun, K. , 2012, “ Fouling Mechanisms in Axial Compressors,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 134(3), p. 032401. [CrossRef]
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Fig. 1

Comparison of fractional efficiency for filter elements from different suppliers and different face velocities in new and dirty conditions [2]

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Fig. 2

Filtration mechanisms

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Fig. 3

Open-loop wind tunnel is used for the fouling tests

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Fig. 4

Normalized inlet dynamic pressure along the vertical and horizontal directions from the wind tunnel centerline

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Fig. 5

Multiple windows are placed around the airfoil to allow flow visualization

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Fig. 6

Friction factor and displacement thickness for a NACA0012 Section at Re = 540,000 [17]

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Fig. 7

Particle deposition (particle size 0.15 μm) for a subsonic compressor airfoil, concerning the second, sixth, and tenth strips (14%, 50%, and 86% of the blade span, respectively) [14]

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Fig. 8

Particle trajectories in a turbine cascade for Stokes flow (Σ ⇒ 0) and for Σ = 5600 at Stokes numbers of St = 0.0035, 0.35, and 3.5 [19]

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Fig. 9

Fouling of the test airfoil. Arrow indicates flow direction: (a) clean before test, (b) dry, (c) airfoil wet with water, (d) airfoil wet with 5 W viscosity oil layer, (e) airfoil wet with 20 W viscosity oil layer, and (f) airfoil wet with thin layer of 20 W viscosity oil after oil was wiped off

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Fig. 10

Select leading edge details: (a) airfoil wet with water (test 2) and (b) airfoil wet with thin layer of 20 W viscosity oil, oil wiped off (test 5)

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Fig. 11

Dust samples from the airfoil surface: (a) reference sample from dust feed, (b) after test 1, (c) after test 2, and (d) after test 5, agglomeration similar to other tests with oil



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