Energy transformation systems rely on rotating machines, such as gas turbines, transforming chemical energy from combustion into mechanical energy, to efficiently drive electrical generators or aircraft engines. Their impact on the environment is significant and reduction of emissions and fuel consumption are critical to the continued growth and sustainability of the global energy conversion process. Key factors in the reduction in emissions and fuel consumption are tied to the performance of the gas turbine components, namely compressor, combustor and turbine components and their operating range.
The present project is focused on compressor performance limits, which condition the stability and operating range of the whole of the gas turbine system. Of particular interest is the mechanisms leading to the onset of stall and the subsequent appearance and propagation of rotating stall configurations in axial compressors.
This knowledge will help industrial turbomachinery designers understand and potentially delay or avoid the onset of stall, resulting in components with robust stall margins and operating ranges with higher efficiency. In addition, by collecting and feeding these new data towards design methodologies based on engineering methods, either empirical or Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, optimizations with enhanced knowledge and significant potential energy savings will be made possible.
The industrial partners Dresser-Rand and Concepts NREC are contributing to the data analysis and to the potential integration of the gained knowledge into their design process and design tools.
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