Abstract

The flow field in a compressor is circumferentially non-uniform due to geometric imperfections, inlet flow nonuniformities, and blade row interactions. Therefore, the flow field, as represented by measurements from discrete stationary instrumentation, can be skewed and contribute to uncertainties in both calculated one-dimensional performance parameters and aerodynamic forcing functions needed for aeromechanics analyses. Considering this challenge, this paper documents a continued effort to account for compressor circumferential flow nonuniformities based on discrete, under-sampled measurements. First, the total pressure field downstream of the first two stators in a three-stage axial compressor was measured across half of the annulus. The circumferential nonuniformities in the stator exit flow, including vane wake variability, were characterized. In addition, the influence of wake variation on stage performance calculations and aerodynamic forcing functions were investigated. In the present study for the compressor with an approximate pressure ratio of 1.3 at design point, the circumferential nonuniformity in total pressure yields an approximate 2.4-point variation in isentropic efficiency and 54% variation in spectral magnitudes of the fundamental forcing frequency for the embedded stage. Furthermore, the stator exit circumferential flow nonuniformity is accounted for by reconstructing the full-annulus flow using a novel multi-wavelet approximation method. Strong agreement was achieved between experiment and the reconstructed total pressure field from a small segment of measurements representing 20% coverage of the annulus. Analysis shows the wake-wake interactions from the upstream vane rows dominate the circumferentially nonuniform distributions in the total pressure field downstream of stators. The features associated with wake-wake interactions accounting for passage-to-passage variations are resolved in the reconstructed total pressure profile, yielding representative mean flow properties and aerodynamic forcing functions.

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