Optimization of cooling systems within gas turbine engines is of great interest to engine manufacturers seeking gains in performance, efficiency, and component life. The effectiveness of coolant delivery is governed by complex flows within the stator wells and the interaction of main annulus and cooling air in the vicinity of the rim seals. This paper reports on the development of a test facility which allows the interaction of cooling air and main gas paths to be measured at conditions representative of those found in modern gas turbine engines. The test facility features a two stage turbine with an overall pressure ratio of approximately 2.6:1. Hot air is supplied to the main annulus using a Rolls-Royce PLC Dart compressor driven by an aero-derivative engine plant. Cooling air can be delivered to the stator wells at multiple locations and at a range of flow rates which cover bulk ingestion through to bulk egress. The facility has been designed with adaptable geometry to enable rapid changes of cooling air path configuration. The coolant delivery system allows swift and accurate changes to the flow settings such that thermal transients may be performed. Particular attention has been focused on obtaining high accuracy data, using a radio telemetry system, as well as thorough through-calibration practices. Temperature measurements can now be made on both rotating and stationary disks with a long term uncertainty in the region of 0.3 K. A gas concentration measurement system has also been developed to obtain direct measurement of re-ingestion and rim seal exchange flows. High resolution displacement sensors have been installed in order to measure hot running geometry. This paper documents the commissioning of a test facility which is unique in terms of rapid configuration changes, nondimensional engine matching, and the instrumentation density and resolution. Example data for each of the measurement systems are presented. This includes the effect of coolant flow rate on the metal temperatures within the upstream cavity of the turbine stator well, the axial displacement of the rotor assembly during a commissioning test, and the effect of coolant flow rate on mixing in the downstream cavity of the stator well.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanical Engineering