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Title: Rotating stall and passive flow control on blade profiles and in centrifugal compressors
Author: Heffron, Andrew P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 1836
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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The operating range and efficiency of a centrifugal compressor is limited by the development of rotating stall and surge at low mass flow rates. To extend the operating range of a compressor, flow control in the compressor can be used to suppress secondary flow structures that lead to rotating stall. The presented work seeks to use the novel idea of placing passive vortex generators (VG) upstream of the impeller to suppress rotating stall, while also developing new concepts and optimization of microvortex generators (MVG). To accomplish this goal, a new SIMPLE-type algorithm for compressible flows was written in Code_Saturne along with a 2nd-order MUSCL scheme for convective terms and an AUSM+-up scheme for mass flux computation. The new algorithm was successfully validated against several widely-used test cases. The new algorithm was used to model the flow of the NASA CC3, a high-speed centrifugal compressor, from choke to rotating stall with a vaneless and vaned diffuser. The new algorithm predicted the performance of the compressor with a vaneless diffuser very well; satisfactory results were obtained for the compressor with a vaned diffuser. The full compressor with a vaned diffuser was used to model rotating stall. A complex stall cycle between the inlet of the impeller and diffuser was observed and studied. The fundament behavior of MVG, i.e. micro (sub-boundary layer) vortex generator, in a turbulent boundary layer was investigated in a channel flow with RANS and LES. Complementary wind tunnel testing was conducted to validate the computational predictions. The configuration of the MVG was studied to determine an optimal configuration and several conclusions were reached on the design of MVG. Most importantly triangle MVG were found to be the most efficient shape followed by NACA0012 and e423-type MVG, and a MVG angle of 18˚ to 20˚ was found to be optimal. Rectangle MVG were observed to suffer flow separation on the vanes which reduced their performance. The circulation and drag of a MVG was found to have a logarithmic relationship with the device's Reynolds number. These findings were incorporated in a LES study to control separated flow on the e387 airfoil and achieved an improvement in lift-to-drag ratio of 11.27%. Additional recommendations for MVG implementation were given. Combining the work on the NASA CC3 with the work on MVG, vortex generators were implemented near the inlet of the impeller. A detailed optimization study was conducted for the implementation vortex generators in the compressor. It was found vortex generators equal to the boundary layer thickness were the most efficient on controlling the downstream flow. The best configuration was implemented into the full compressor with a vaned diffuser to assess the ability of vortex generators to suppress rotating stall. The vortex generators were found to suppress rotating stall and extend the operating range of the compressor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Engineering and Materials Science ; centrifugal compressors ; vortex generators ; jet engines