Abstract

The flow in shrouded stator cavities can be quite complex with axial, radial, and circumferential variations. As the leakage flow recirculates and is re-injected into the main flow path upstream of the stator, it deteriorates the near-hub flow field and, thus, degrades the overall aerodynamic performance of the compressor. In addition, the windage heating in the cavity can raise thermal-mechanical concerns. Fully understanding the details of the shrouded-hub cavity flow in a multi-stage environment can enable better hub cavity designs. Since the majority of the open literature presents limited details about the structure of compressor cavity flows in the stator wells and how the cavity wells affect the leakage flow, there is a lack of wholistic knowledge of how these flow parameters are interdependent. To shed light on this topic, a coupled CFD model with inclusion of the stator cavity wells for the Purdue 3-Stage (P3S) Axial Compressor Research Facility using the PAX100 configuration was developed and validated against experimental data. Such a model not only quantifies the impact of cavity leakage flow on compressor performance, but it also provides the capability to investigate the flow structure details including the path of the fluid into and out of the cavity. With the model in place, in this part 1 paper, the influence of the hub leakage flow on compressor performance and its interactions with the primary flow were investigated by varying the clearance ratio of a single stator. The understanding of the primary-hub-leakage flow interactions can offer insights leading to better designs of hub cavities.

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