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The NASA Low-Pressure Turbine Flow Physics Program: A ReviewAn overview of the NASA Glenn Low-Pressure Turbine (LPT) Flow Physics Program will be presented. The flow in the LPT is unique for the gas turbine. It is characterized by low Reynolds number and high freestream turbulence intensity and is dominated by interplay of three basic mechanisms: transition, separation and wake interaction. The flow of most interest is on the suction surface, where large losses are generated due to separation. The LPT is a large, multistage, heavy, jet engine component that suffers efficiency degradation between takeoff and cruise conditions due to decrease in Reynolds number with altitude. The performance penalty is around 2 points for large commercial bypass engines and as much as 7 points for small, high cruise altitude, military engines. The gas-turbine industry is very interested in improving the performance of the LPT and in reducing its weight, part count and cost. Many improvements can be accomplished by improved airfoil design, mainly by increasing the airfoil loading that can yield reduction of airfoils and improved performance. In addition, there is a strong interest in reducing the design cycle time and cost. Key enablers of the needed improvements are computational tools that can accurately predict LPT flows. Current CFD tools in use cannot yet satisfactorily predict the unsteady, transitional and separated flow in the LPT. The main reasons are inadequate transition & turbulence models and incomplete understanding of the LPT flow physics. NASA Glenn has established its LPT program to answer these needs. The main goal of the program is to develop and assess models for unsteady CFD of LPT flows. An approach that consists of complementing and augmenting experimental and computational work elements has been adopted. The work is performed in-house and by several academic institutions, in cooperation and interaction with industry. The program was reviewed at the Minnowbrook II meeting in 1997. This review will summarize the progress that was made since and will introduce newly started projects. The LPT program is focused on three areas: acquisition of experimental and numerical databases and on modeling and computation. Priority was initially given to experiments. There are three classes of experiments: simulated LPT passages, linear cascade, both with and without wakes, and low-speed rotating rig. They are being conducted as follows: At NASA GRC on a flat surface with blade pressure distribution, at the US Naval Academy on a curved surface. The addition of wakes is studied at the University of Minnesota in a curved passage with a retractable wake generator, and at Texas A&M University in a linear cascade with continuously running wake generator. The pressure distribution of the Pratt & Whitney blade 'Pak B' is used in all these experiments. Experiments have been performed also in the GEAE Low-Speed Rotating Turbine (LSRT) rig with GE-designed airfoils. Work on numerically generated database is in progress at the University of Kentucky, using the DNS/LES code LESTool developed there. Turbulence/transition model assessment and development is performed also at the University of Kentucky, where a new intermittency transport model was developed and many experimental test cases have been numerically computed. Assessments of models using simulations of multistage LPT experiments were performed at Virginia Commonwealth University using the Corsair code. Work on suction surface separation delay, using passive and active flow-control, has also been initiated. Following the overview, Principal Investigators attending the workshop will present in detail several of the projects supported by NASA.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ashpis, David E.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: Minnowbrook III: 2000 Workshop on Boundary Layer Transition and Unsteady Aspects of Turbomachinery Flows
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Thermodynamics
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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