Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Analytical Study of Articulating Turbine Rotor Blade Concept for Improved Off-Design Performance of Gas Turbine Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
Muthuvel Murugan

Vehicle Technology Directorate,
U.S. Army Research Laboratory,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005
e-mail: muthuvel.murugan.civ@mail.mil

Anindya Ghoshal

Vehicle Technology Directorate,
U.S. Army Research Laboratory,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005
e-mail: anindya.ghoshal.civ@mail.mil

Fei Xu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50011
e-mail: xufei12345@gmail.com

Ming-Chen Hsu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50011
e-mail: jmchsu@gmail.com

Yuri Bazilevs

Department of Structural Engineering,
University of California,
San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093
e-mail: jbazilevs@ucsd.edu

Luis Bravo

Vehicle Technology Directorate,
U.S. Army Research Laboratory,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005
e-mail: luis.g.bravo2.civ@mail.mil

Kevin Kerner

U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research,
Development and Engineering Center,
Aviation Development Directorate,
Building 401,
Fort Eustis, VA 23604
e-mail: kevin.a.kerner.civ@mail.mil

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received January 23, 2017; final manuscript received February 20, 2017; published online May 2, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(10), 102601 (May 02, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1028; doi: 10.1115/1.4036359 History: Received January 23, 2017; Revised February 20, 2017

Gas turbine engines are generally optimized to operate at nearly a fixed speed with fixed blade geometries for the design operating condition. When the operating condition of the engine changes, the flow incidence angles may not be optimum with the blade geometry resulting in reduced off-design performance. Articulating the pitch angle of turbine blades in coordination with adjustable nozzle vanes can improve performance by maintaining flow incidence angles within the optimum range at all operating conditions of a gas turbine engine. Maintaining flow incidence angles within the optimum range can prevent the likelihood of flow separation in the blade passage and also reduce the thermal stresses developed due to aerothermal loads for variable speed gas turbine engine applications. U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has partnered with University of California San Diego and Iowa State University Collaborators to conduct high fidelity stator–rotor interaction analysis for evaluating the aerodynamic efficiency benefits of articulating turbine blade concept. The flow patterns are compared between the baseline fixed geometry blades and articulating conceptual blades. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies were performed using a stabilized finite element method developed by the Iowa State University and University of California San Diego researchers. The results from the simulations together with viable smart material-based technologies for turbine blade actuations are presented in this paper.

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Fig. 7

The rhinoceros–grasshopper parametric design tool for adaptive turbine blades. (a) The parametric design tool in grasshopper, (b) pitching the rotor and stator blades both by 0 deg, and (c) pitching the rotor and stator blades both by 15 deg.

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Fig. 6

Blade pitch articulation using a high-temperature capable SMA

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Fig. 1

Cut-away illustration of a typical rotorcraft engine

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Fig. 8

Flow inside a gas turbine stage. Vorticity colored by velocity magnitude.

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Fig. 9

Absolute flow velocity in a turbine stage: (a) Before pitching and (b) after pitching

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Fig. 10

Streamlines of relative velocity in a rotor passage: (a) Before pitching and (b) after pitching

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Fig. 5

Coordinated articulation of stator and rotor blades for efficient aerodynamic performance (conceptual)

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Fig. 4

Flow velocity triangles through stator and rotor blade passages for axial flow turbine stage (off-design condition)

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Fig. 3

Flow velocity triangles through stator and rotor blade passages for axial flow turbine stage (design condition)

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Fig. 2

Stator and rotor blade passages in axial flow turbine stage



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