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Boundary-Layer Separation Control under Low-Pressure Turbine Airfoil Conditions using Glow-Discharge Plasma ActuatorsModem low-pressure turbines, in general, utilize highly loaded airfoils in an effort to improve efficiency and to lower the number of airfoils needed. Typically, the airfoil boundary layers are turbulent and fully attached at takeoff conditions, whereas a substantial fraction of the boundary layers on the airfoils may be transitional at cruise conditions due to the change of density with altitude. The strong adverse pressure gradients on the suction side of these airfoils can lead to boundary-layer separation at the latter low Reynolds number conditions. Large separation bubbles, particularly those which fail to reattach, cause a significant degradation of engine efficiency. A component efficiency drop of the order 2% may occur between takeoff and cruise conditions for large commercial transport engines and could be as large as 7% for smaller engines at higher altitude. An efficient means of of separation elimination/reduction is, therefore, crucial to improved turbine design. Because the large change in the Reynolds number from takeoff to cruise leads to a distinct change in the airfoil flow physics, a separation control strategy intended for cruise conditions will need to be carefully constructed so as to incur minimum impact/penalty at takeoff. A complicating factor, but also a potential advantage in the quest for an efficient strategy, is the intricate interplay between separation and transition for the situation at hand. Volino gives a comprehensive discussion of several recent studies on transition and separation under low-pressure-turbine conditions, among them one in the present facility. Transition may begin before or after separation, depending on the Reynolds number and other flow conditions. If the transition occurs early in the boundary layer then separation may be reduced or completely eliminated. Transition in the shear layer of a separation bubble can lead to rapid reattachment. This suggests using control mechanisms to trigger and enhance early transition. Gad-el-Hak provides a review of various techniques for flow control in general and Volino discusses recent studies on separation control under low-pressure-turbine conditions utilizing passive as well as active devices. As pointed out by Volino, passive devices optimized for separation control at low Reynolds numbers tend to increase losses at high Reynolds numbers, Active devices have the attractive feature that they can be utilized only in operational regimes where they are needed and when turned off would not affect the flow. The focus in the present paper is an experimental Separation is induced on a flat plate installed in a closed-circuit wind tunnel by a shaped insert on the opposite wall. The flow conditions represent flow over the suction surface of a modem low-pressure-turbine airfoil ('Pak-B'). The Reynolds number, based on wetted plate length and nominal exit velocity, is varied from 50,000 to 300,000, covering cruise to takeoff conditions. Low (0.2%) and high (2.5%) Gee-stream turbulence intensities are set using passive grids. A spanwise-oriented phased-plasma-array actuator, fabricated on a printed circuit board, is surface- flush-mounted upstream of the separation point and can provide forcing in a wide frequency range. Static surface pressure measurements and hot-wire anemometry of the base and controlled flows are performed and indicate that the glow-discharge plasma actuator is an effective device for separation control. of active separation control using glow discharge plasma actuators.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Hultgren, Lennart S. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Ashpis, David E. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
IEEE Minnowbrook IV: Workshop on Transition and Unsteady Aspects of Turbomachinery FLows(Blue Mountain Lake, NY)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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