Abstract

Data driven technologies are revolutionising the engineering sector by providing new ways of performing day to day tasks through the life cycle of a product as it progresses through manufacture, to build, qualification test, field operation and maintenance. Significant increase in data transfer speeds combined with cost effective data storage, and ever-increasing computational power provide the building blocks that enable companies to adopt data driven technologies such as data analytics, IOT and machine learning. Improved business operational efficiency and more responsive customer support provide the incentives for business investment. Digital twins, that leverages these technologies in their various forms to converge physics and data driven models, are therefore being widely adopted.

A high-fidelity multi-physics digital twin, HFDT, that digitally replicates a gas turbine as it is built based on part and build data using advanced component and assembly models is introduced. The HFDT, among other benefits enables data driven assessments to be carried out during manufacture and assembly for each turbine allowing these processes to be optimised and the impact of variability or process change to be readily evaluated. On delivery of the turbine and its associated HFDT to the service support team the HFDT supports the evaluation of in-service performance deteriorations, the impact of field interventions and repair and the changes in operating characteristics resulting from overhaul and turbine upgrade. Thus, creating a cradle to grave physics and data driven twin of the gas turbine asset.

In this paper, one branch of HFDT using a power turbine module is firstly presented. This involves simultaneous modelling of gas path and solid using high fidelity CFD and FEA which converts the cold geometry to hot running conditions to assess the impact of various manufacturing and build variabilities. It is shown this process can be executed within reasonable time frames enabling creation of HFDT for each turbine during manufacture and assembly and for this to be transferred to the service team for deployment during field operations.

Following this, it is shown how data driven technologies are used in conjunction with the HFDT to improve predictions of engine performance from early build information. The example shown, shows how a higher degree of confidence is achieved through the development of an artificial neural network of the compressor tip gap feature and its effect on overall compressor efficiency.

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