An experimental investigation has been conducted into the feasibility of increasing blade spacing (pitch) at constant chord in a linear turbine cascade. Vortex generator jets (VGJs) located on the suction surface of each blade in the cascade are employed to maintain attached boundary layers despite the increasing tendency to separate due to the increased uncovered turning. Tests were performed at low Mach numbers and at blade Reynolds numbers between 25,000 and 75,000 (based on axial chord and inlet velocity). The vortex generator jets (30 degree injection angle and 90 degree skew angle) were operated with steady flow with momentum blowing ratios between zero and five, and from two spanwise rows of holes located at 45% and 63% axial chord. In the absence of control, pitch-averaged wake losses increase up to 600% as the blade pitch is increased from its design value to twice the design value. With the application of VGJs, these losses were driven down to or below the losses at the design pitch. The effectiveness of VGJs was found to increase modestly with increasing Reynolds number up to the highest value tested, Re = 75,000. The fluid phenomenon responsible for this remarkable range of effectiveness is clearly more than a simple boundary layer transition effect, as boundary layer trips installed on the same blades without VGJ blowing had no beneficial effect on blade losses. Also, tests conducted at elevated levels of freestream turbulence (4% at the cascade inlet) where the suction surface boundary layer is generally turbulent, showed wake loss reduction comparable to tests conducted at the nominal 1% freestream turbulence. For all configurations, blowing from the upstream row had the greatest wake influence. These findings open the possibility that future LPT designs could take advantage of active separation control using integrated VGJs to reduce the turbine part count and stage weight without significant increase in pressure losses.

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