Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

Investigation of Choking and Combustion Products' Swirling Frequency Effects on Gas Turbine Compressor Blade Fractures

[+] Author and Article Information
E. Poursaeidi, M. A. Yahya Meymandi

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Zanjan,
Zanjan 45195-313, Iran

M. Arablu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Zanjan,
Zanjan 45195-313, Iran;
Mobin Arya Power Engineering and Research Co.,
Alborz, Karaj 31398-35795, Iran

M. R. Mohammadi Arhani

Mobin Arya Power Engineering and Research Co.,
Alborz, Karaj 31398-35795, Iran

Manuscript received December 28, 2011; final manuscript received November 21, 2012; published online April 12, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Edward M. Bennett.

J. Fluids Eng 135(6), 061203 (Apr 12, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: FE-11-1502; doi: 10.1115/1.4023852 History: Received December 28, 2011; Revised November 21, 2012

Premature fracture failure of blades occurred in four of a refinery's gas turbine compressors. In order to evaluate the probability of combustion instability's effects on failure of the blades; i.e., choking and chamber resonance problems, 3D models of the combustion chamber structure and combustion flow were studied with finite element and computation fluid dynamics codes, respectively. Comparison of results of combustion chamber natural frequencies with combustion swirl frequency showed that the chamber structure is not under resonance. In order to verify probability of choking, the combustion product flow's Mach number was studied. Results of the Mach number distribution showed that the flow is subsonic in the transition piece area but, due to existence of supersonic flow conditions near the swirl vanes it may become supersonic in some critical conditions. Thus, it is suggested to operators that, for avoiding choking probabilities, it is better that engine operation be maintained close to optimum design conditions. Results of simulations showed that the fracture of the blades is not due to combustion problems.

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Fig. 1

Failed blades in first row of four frame-6 gas turbines

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Fig. 2

Side view of the turbine

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Fig. 3

(a) Schematic of the combustion chamber; (b) arrangement of the chambers on the rotor

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Fig. 4

Three first natural mode shapes and frequencies

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Fig. 5

Air inlet distribution along the combustion chamber

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Fig. 6

(a) Chamber inner view of swirl vanes; (b) fuel injectors

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Fig. 7

Characteristics of combustion chamber inlet flow in various operation load of engine

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Fig. 8

Contours of temperature in a vertical plane inside the combustion chamber under 14 MW operation

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Fig. 9

Contours of Mach number in the combustion chamber under 14 MW operation

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Fig. 10

Contours of hollow frequencies in the combustion chamber under 14 MW operation



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