The buoyancy-induced flow and heat transfer inside the compressor rotors of gas-turbine engines affects the stresses and radial growth of the compressor disks, and it also causes a temperature rise in the axial throughflow of cooling air through the center of the disks. In turn, the radial growth of the disks affects the radial clearance between the rotating compressor blades and the surrounding stationary casing. The calculation of this clearance is extremely important, particularly in aeroengines where the increase in pressure ratios results in a decrease in the size of the blades. In this paper, a published theoretical model—based on buoyancy-induced laminar Ekman-layer flow on the rotating disks—is extended to include laminar free convection from the compressor shroud and forced convection between the bore of the disks and the axial throughflow. The predicted heat transfer from these three surfaces is then used to calculate the temperature rise of the throughflow. The predicted temperatures and Nusselt numbers are compared with measurements made in a multicavity compressor rig, and mainly good agreement is achieved for a range of Rossby, Reynolds, and Grashof numbers representative of those found in aeroengine compressors. Owing to compressibility effects in the fluid core between the disks—and as previously predicted—increasing rotational speed can result in an increase in the core temperature and a consequent decrease in the Nusselt numbers from the disks and shroud.
Buoyancy-Induced Flow and Heat Transfer in Compressor Rotors
Contributed by the Heat Transfer Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 7, 2017; final manuscript received October 21, 2017; published online April 25, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Riccardo Da Soghe.
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Tang, H., Puttock-Brown, M. R., and Michael Owen, J. (April 25, 2018). "Buoyancy-Induced Flow and Heat Transfer in Compressor Rotors." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. July 2018; 140(7): 071902. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4038756
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