Pressure loss characterization for cooling and secondary air system components in gas turbines
Abstract: There is a constant struggle to increase the efficiency in gas turbines, where one method is to have a higher inlet temperature to the turbine. Often, this results in temperatures higher than the critical temperature of the materials, which makes cooling of the components an important part of the turbine. The cooling air is tapped from the compressor, and has hence required work while being compressed, but since it is removed from the thermodynamic cycle it will not provide any work in the turbine stages. Therefore, it is important to understand the losses in the cooling system to be able to use the smallest amount of cooling air possible, while still cool sufficiently to not decrease the turbine’s lifetime. The pressure losses in the cooling and secondary air systems are due to either friction or minor losses; contractions, expansions and bends. The losses can be described by a discharge coefficient, ; a rate of how close the actual mass flow is to the ideal mass flow, or a pressure loss coefficient, ; a rate of the pressure drop. In the cooling and secondary air systems there are orifices and cooling geometries. These can have different geometrical properties depending on application, and thereby have different heat transfer performances and causing a higher or lower pressure drop. At Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB, SIT AB, a one-dimensional in-house program named C3D is used for thermal calculations and calculations of flow properties of internal cooling flow networks. The program uses hydraulic networks consisting of nodes and branches to simulate the flow inside the components. Correlations used for describing pressure losses have been collected and divided depending on their valid ranges, with the aim to make pressure loss calculations easier. A MATLAB code have been developed, which, depending on input parameters, separates the correlations and returns a plot with the correlations that can be used. In order to make the code as useful as possible, a few assumptions were made; curve fitting of correlations which were only available as plots and interpolation to get larger valid ranges for some cases. These assumptions will influence the results, but the code will still be able to give an indication of which correlation to use, and hence, the objective is fulfilled. Simulations in one dimension are commonly used, since it is less time consuming than three-dimensional modelling. Therefore, with focus on the pressure losses, a one-dimensional model of a blade in the in-house program C3D has been evaluated using a three-dimensional model in the CFD program Ansys CFX. Also, two new models were created in C3D; both with geometrical properties and pressure loss coefficients adjusted to the CFX model, but the first model is using the same hydraulic network as in the evaluated, reference, model while the second is using a new network, built according to the streamlines in CFX. The resulting mass flows in the C3D models were compared to the mass flows in the CFX model, which ended in the conclusion that it is hard for the one-dimensional models to understand the complex, three-dimensional flow situations, even when adjusting them to the CFX model. Anyhow, the adjustments made the model somewhat closer to the three-dimensional case, and hence CFX should be used in an earlier stage when developing C3D models.
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