Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Investigation and Prediction of Steam-Induced Stall-Margin Reduction in Two Transonic Rotor Fans

[+] Author and Article Information
Anthony J. Gannon

MAE Department,
Naval Postgraduate School,
700 Dyer Road, RM 245,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: ajgannon@nps.edu

Garth V. Hobson

MAE Department,
Naval Postgraduate School,
700 Dyer Road, RM 245,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: gvhobson@nps.edu

Collin R. Hedges

MAE Department,
Naval Postgraduate School,
700 Dyer Road, RM 245,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: crhedges@gmail.com

Gregory L. Descovich

MAE Department,
Naval Postgraduate School,
700 Dyer Road, RM 245,
Monterey, CA 93943
e-mail: gldescov@yahoo.com

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 14, 2012; final manuscript received August 13, 2014; published online September 4, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Edward M. Bennett.

J. Fluids Eng 136(11), 111101 (Sep 04, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: FE-12-1576; doi: 10.1115/1.4028318 History: Received November 14, 2012; Revised August 13, 2014

An investigation into the behavior of two transonic compressor rotors operating at near-stall conditions while ingesting hot-steam was undertaken. This type of inlet flow was similar to that experienced by naval aircraft during steam catapult launches and has had the potential to adversely affect engine performance. The research was divided into three broad areas: experimental, theoretical and numerical. The first area, experimental, used the Naval Postgraduate School's transonic compressor rig. The rig was modified to introduce hot steam into the inlet flow during testing. Two rotor-only tests were completed; one with an unswept rotor and the other with a forward swept rotor. The experimental program yielded two sets of results. The first recorded data on the operational behavior of a transonic compressor ingesting a super-heated steam and air mixture, notably the quantification of the stall margin (SM) reduction. The second data set captured transient measurements of the inlet flow gas properties. The transient inlet data were then used in the second research area; a theoretical analysis based on a thermodynamic model of the inlet flow. Prior to this investigation, little information was available for higher temperature steam–air mixtures of this type. The analysis used certain simplifying assumptions to perform a fundamental of the inflow which yielded the inlet flow transient changes of specific heat capacities, gas constants, and, therefore, sonic velocities. Using these transient inlet properties, the third area of the investigation was performed, developing a numerical model. A fully transient simulation over the time period of an ingestion event would not be practical due to the large computational requirements needed. A quasi-transient method with large intermediate time steps was developed. The method is presented and was found to be reasonable at predicting the stall-margin reduction when compared to the available experimental results. These results would have potential use in design applications and for evaluating existing compressor steam ingestion tolerance.

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Fig. 3

Experimental layout

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Fig. 1

Photos of steam ingestion during launch

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Fig. 4

Inlet thermocouple rakes schematic and installation

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Fig. 11

Measured mixture sonic velocity

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Fig. 5

Ideal thermodynamic model

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Fig. 8

Measured density of gaseous phase of mixture

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Fig. 9

Steam volume fraction of gaseous mixture

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Fig. 10

Steam mass fraction of gaseous mixture

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Fig. 6

Measured versus theoretical inlet temperature

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Fig. 7

Measured versus theoretical heat addition

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Fig. 12

Rotor (a) performance map

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Fig. 13

Rotor (b) performance map

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Fig. 14

Rotor (a): Mach 1 iso-surface with temperature overlaid during steam ingestion at 95% rotational speed

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Fig. 15

Rotor (a): Experimental and simulated stalls at 95% rotational speed

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Fig. 16

Rotor (b): Experimental and simulated stalls at 90% rotational speed



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