Advances in computational fluid dynamics technology have enabled the aerothermal design of gas turbines used in aircraft engines and power generation equipment to achieve previously unattainable performance. Insatiable customer demands for lower cost of fuel consumption (higher thermal efficiency) and parts (maintenance and repair) result in increased operating temperatures in the high-pressure turbine (HPT) within very tight design margins.
Further design improvements demand understanding the complex flow physics that impact gas turbine performance—specifically the phenomena of flow mixing, boundary layer transition, separated flows, multiscale flow structures, and coupling between HPT components (e.g., stator/rotor interaction).
The GE team will leverage large eddy simulation capabilities to study the physics in a coupled stator/rotor HPT architecture in high fidelity and resolve the wake interactions and boundary layer transition. The competitive impact of design insight through this study includes improving efficiency (reducing fuel consumption) in jet engines and heavy-duty gas turbines as well as guiding opportunities to exploit additive and other advanced manufacturing capabilities.
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