Impact of Turbine Blade Stagger Angle Adjustment on the Efficiency and Performance of Gas Turbines During Off-Design and Dynamic Operation
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Copyright © 2018 ASME. Gas turbines in general and aircraft engines in particular undergo frequently dynamic operations. These operations include the routine start-up, load change and shut downs to cover their operation envelope. The frequency of the dynamic operation depends on the size of the engines and the field of application. Engines for commuter aircrafts and particularly helicopter engines operate more often in an off-design mode compared to large commercial aircraft engines and power generation gas turbines. During these routine operations, the compressor mass flow, the pressure ratio, the combustion chamber fuel and air mass flow as well as turbine mass flow change. These changes affect the engine aerodynamic performance and its efficiency. To avoid the inception of rotating stall and surge, high performance gas turbines are equipped with mechanisms that adjust the stator stagger angles thus aligning the stator exit flow angle to the rotor inlet angle, which reduces an excessive incidence. The reduction of incidence angle not only preserves the stable operation of the compressor but it also prevents the compressor efficiency from deterioration. The existence of an inherent positive pressure gradient may cause the boundary layer separation on compressor blades leading to the rotating stall and surge. Such condition, however, does not exist in a turbine, and therefore, there has been no compelling reason to apply the blade adjusting method to the turbine component. For the first time, the impact of turbine blade stagger angle adjustment on the gas turbine efficiency during the operation is shown in this paper. Given a statistically distributed load condition, the extensive dynamic simulation reported in this paper shows how the efficiency can be positively affected through proper blade adjustment. For the time dependent operation, the code GETRAN developed by the author was enhanced to include the turbine blade adjustment as a function of time. To conduct the dynamic simulation with turbine stator stagger angle adjustment during a dynamic operation, the full geometry of the Brown Boveri GT-9 gas turbine was utilized. Starting from the reference stagger angle, it is varied within an incidence range of ± 3 degree. Detailed simulation results show the substantial efficiency improvement through stator stagger blade adjustment.
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