Effects of Mach Number and Flow Incidence on Aerodynamic Losses of Steam Turbine Blades

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Virginia Tech

An experiment was conducted to investigate the aerodynamic losses of two high-pressure steam turbine nozzles (526A, 525B) subjected to a large range of incident angle and exit Mach number. The blades were tested in a 2D transonic windtunnel. The exit Mach number ranged from 0.60 to 1.15 and the incidence was varied from -34o to 35o. Measurements included downstream Pitot probe traverses, upstream total pressure, and endwall static pressures. Flow visualization techniques such as shadowgraph photography and color oil flow visualization were performed to complement the measured data. When the exit Mach number for both nozzles increased from 0.9 to 1.1, the total pressure loss coefficient increased by a factor of 7 as compared to the total pressure losses observed at subsonic condition (M2<0.9). For the range of incidence tested, the effect of flow incidence on the total pressure losses is less pronounced. Based on shadowgraphs taken during the experiment, it's believed that the large increase in losses at transonic conditions is due to strong shock/boundary layer interaction that may lead to flow separation on the blade suction surface. From the measured total pressure coefficients, a modified loss model that accounts for higher losses at transonic conditions was developed. The new model matches the data much better than the existing Kacker-Okapuu model for transonic exit conditions.

Steam Turbine, Nozzle, Aerodynamic Loss, Transonic