The injection of water droplets into compressor inlet ducting is now commonly used as a means of boosting the output from industrial gas turbines. The chief mechanisms responsible for the increase in power are the reduction in compressor work per unit flow and the increase in mass flow rate, both of which are achieved by evaporative cooling upstream of and within the compressor. This paper examines the impact of such evaporative processes on compressor operation, focussing particular attention on cases with substantial over-spray — i.e., for which significant evaporation takes place within the compressor itself, rather than in the inlet. A simple numerical method is described for the computation of wet compression processes, based on a combination of droplet evaporation and mean-line calculations. The method is applied to a “generic” compressor geometry in order to investigate the nature of the off-design behaviour that results from evaporative cooling. Consideration is also given to the efficiency of the compression process, the implications for choking and stall, and the magnitude of the thermodynamic loss resulting from irreversible phase change.

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