A comprehensive experimental investigation was initiated to evaluate the aerodynamic performance of a gas turbine exhaust diffuser/collector for various strut geometries over a range of inlet angle. The test was conducted on a 1/12th scale rig developed for rapid and accurate evaluation of multiple test configurations. The facility was designed to run continuously at an inlet Mach number of 0.40 and an inlet hydraulic diameter-based Reynolds number of 3.4 × 105. Multihole pneumatic pressure probes and surface oil flow visualization were deployed to ascertain the effects of inlet flow angle and strut geometry. Initial baseline diffuser-only tests with struts omitted showed a weakly increasing trend in pressure recovery with increasing swirl, peaking at 14 deg before rapidly dropping. Tests on profiled struts showed a similar trend with reduced recovery across the range of swirl and increased recovery drop beyond the peak. Subsequent tests for a full diffuser/collector configuration with profiled struts revealed a rising trend at lower swirl when compared to diffuser-only results, albeit with a reduction in recovery. When tested without struts, the addition of the collector to the diffuser not only reduced the pressure recovery at all angles but also resulted in a shift of the overall characteristic to a peak recovery at a lower value of swirl. The increased operation range associated with the implementation of struts in the full configuration is attributed to the deswirling effects of the profiled struts. In this case, the decreased swirl reduces the flow asymmetry responsible for the reduction in pressure recovery attributed to the formation of a localized reverse-flow vortex near the bottom of the collector. This research indicates that strut setting angle and, to a lesser extent, strut shape can be optimized to provide peak engine performance over a wide range of operation.
An Experimental Investigation of the Performance Impact of Swirl on a Turbine Exhaust Diffuser/Collector for a Series of Diffuser Strut Geometries
Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received November 12, 2015; final manuscript received December 30, 2015; published online March 22, 2016. Editor: David Wisler.
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Xue, S., Guillot, S., Ng, W. F., Fleming, J., Todd Lowe, K., Samal, N., and Stang, U. E. (March 22, 2016). "An Experimental Investigation of the Performance Impact of Swirl on a Turbine Exhaust Diffuser/Collector for a Series of Diffuser Strut Geometries." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. September 2016; 138(9): 092603. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4032738
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