Analysis on the effect of a non-uniform inlet profile on heat transfer and fluid flow in turbine stages

Salvadori Simone*, Francesco Montomoli, Francesco Martelli, Kam S. Chana, Imran Qureshi, Tom Povey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an investigation of the aerothermal performance of a modern unshrouded high pressure (HP) aeroengine turbine subject to non-uniform inlet temperature profile. The turbine used for the study was the MT1 turbine installed in the QinetiQ Turbine Test Facility (TTF) based in Farnborough (UK). The MT1 turbine is a full scale transonic HP turbine, and is operated in the test facility at the correct non-dimensional conditions for aerodynamics and heat transfer. Datum experiments of aero-thermal performance were conducted with uniform inlet conditions. Experiments with nonuniform inlet temperature were conducted with a temperature profile that had a non-uniformity in the radial direction defined by (Tmax-Tmin)T̄ = 0.355, and a non-uniformity in the circumferential direction defined by (Tmax -Tmin)T̄ = 0.14. This corresponds to an extreme point in the engine cycle, in an engine where the non-uniformity is dominated by the radial distribution. Accurate experimental area surveys of the turbine inlet and exit flows were conducted, and detailed heat transfer measurements were obtained on the blade surfaces and end-walls. These results are analysed with the unsteady numerical data obtained using the in-house HybFlow code developed at the University of Firenze. Two particular aspects are highlighted in the discussion: prediction confidence for state of the art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and impact of real conditions on stator-rotor thermal loading. The efficiency value obtained with the numerical analysis is compared with the experimental data and a 0.8% difference is found and discussed. A study of the flow field influence on the blade thermal load has also been detailed. It is shown that the hot streak migration mainly affects the rotor pressure side from 20% to 70% of the span, where the Nusselt number increases by a factor of 60% with respect to the uniform case. Furthermore, in this work it has been found that a nonuniform temperature distribution is beneficial for the rotor tip, contrary to the results found in the open literature. Although the hot streak is affected by the pressure gradient across the tip gap, the radial profile (which dominates the temperature profile being considered) is not fully mixed out in passing through the HP stage, and contributes significantly to cooling the turbine casing. A design approach not taking into account these effects will underestimate to rotor life near the tip and the thermal load at mid-span. The temperature profile that has been used in both the experiments and CFD is the first simulation of an extreme cycle point (more than twice the magnitude of distortion all previous experimental studies): it represents an engine-take-off condition combined with the full combustor cooling. The research was part of the EU funded TATEF2 (Turbine Aero-Thermal External Flows 2) programme.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME Turbo Expo 2010
Subtitle of host publicationPower for Land, Sea, and Air, GT 2010
Number of pages14
EditionPARTS A, B, AND C
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
EventASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air, GT 2010 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Jun 201018 Jun 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo


ConferenceASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air, GT 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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