Abstract

For an optimum performance design of low-pressure turbine (LPT) blades, it is crucial to understand the generation mechanism of profile loss properly. As the profile loss is usually taken to be the loss generated inside the blade boundary layer due to viscous effects, most of the efforts for the performance optimization have concentrated on the reduction in the boundary layer loss using the flow parameters that represent the loss generation in the boundary layers. Kodama and Funazaki [1] investigated the generation mechanism of profile loss from a view point of blade drag forces, friction drag force and pressure drag force, and suggested that the loss due to pressure drag is dominant in the profile loss of a typical LPT blade. The loss due to pressure drag is not a boundary layer loss that is generated in the boundary layers, but a mixing loss that is generated downstream of the trailing edge. It is necessary to clarify a key flow parameter to the loss due to pressure drag for an effective performance optimization.

This paper aims at investigating the flow parameter that is a measure of the profile loss. In the investigation, the profile loss is broken down into the loss components which are expressed by the boundary layer integral parameters at the trailing edge. Then the loss components are categorized into the loss due to friction drag or the loss due to pressure drag. The loss level of each component is evaluated by using the results of steady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations to assess the contribution to the total profile loss. The evaluations are conducted for two kinds of blade profiles at three different Reynolds numbers. It is found that the largest contributor to the loss due to pressure drag, consequently to the total profile loss, is the loss associated with a mixing of accelerated free stream flow by the flow blockage at the trailing edge plane. The loss level is simply determined by the flow blockage. This suggests that the flow blockage at the trailing edge plane is the most important flow parameter for an optimum performance design of LPT blades.

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