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A Computational Study of Compressor Inlet Boundary Conditions with Total Temperature Distortions
Eisemann, Kevin Michael
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A three-dimensional CFD program was used to predict the flow field that would enter a downstream fan or compressor rotor under the influence of an upstream thermal distortion. Two distortion generation techniques were implemented in the model; (1) a thermal source and (2) a heated flow injection method. Results from the investigation indicate that both total pressure and velocity boundary conditions at the compressor face are made non-uniform by the upstream thermal distortion, while static pressure remains nearly constant. Total pressure at the compressor face was found to vary on the order of 10%, while velocity varies from 50-65%. Therefore, in modeling such flows, neither of these latter two boundary conditions can be assumed constant under these conditions. The computational model results for the two distortion generation techniques were compared to one another and evaluations of the physical practicality of the thermal distortion generation methods are presented. Both thermal distortion methods create total temperature distortion magnitudes at the compressor face that may affect rotor blade vibration. Both analyses show that holding static pressure constant is an appropriate boundary condition for flow modeling at the compressor inlet. The analyses indicate that in addition to the introduction of a thermal distortion, there is a potential to generate distortion in total pressure, Mach number, and velocity. Depending on the method of thermally distorting the inlet flow, the flow entering the compressor face may be significantly non-uniform. The compressor face boundary condition results are compared to the assumptions of a previous analysis (Kenyon et al., 2004) in which a 25 R total temperature distortion was applied to a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a fan geometry to obtain unsteady blade pressure loading. Results from the present CFD analyses predict similar total temperature distortion magnitudes corresponding to the total temperature variation used in the Kenyon analyses. However, the results indicate that the total pressure and circumferential velocity boundary conditions assumed uniform in the Kenyon analyses could vary by the order of 2% in total pressure and approximately 8% in velocity distortion. This supports the previously stated finding that assuming a uniform total pressure profile at the compressor inlet may be an appropriate approximation with the presence of a weak thermal distortion, while assuming a constant circumferential velocity boundary condition is likely not sufficiently accurate for any thermal distortion. In this work, the referenced Kenyon investigation and others related to the investigation of distortion-induced aeromechanical effects in this compressor rotor have assumed no aerodynamic coupling between the duct flow and the rotor. A full computational model incorporating the interaction between the duct flow and the fan rotor would serve to alleviate the need for assuming boundary conditions at the compressor inlet.
- Masters Theses