Manual The Origin of Turbulence in Near-Wall Flows

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However, due to the flow aerodynamic character and domain boundaries, small vortices can form bigger vortex structures and vice versa. Vortices, which contain the highest amount of kinetic energy, are described by the Taylor scale. In the inertial range, the vortex breakup can be described by inertial effects, thus viscous effects are negligible. Small vortices contain a low amount of energy but contribute mostly to the dissipation.

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The smallest turbulent vortices are defined by the Kolmogorov microscale [ 1 ]. In general terms, in turbulent flow, unsteady vortices appear of many sizes which interact with each other, exchanging energy, as a result drag increases due to friction effects.

The level of turbulence has significant impact on the stability of boundary and shear layers. Small turbulence scales, observed in the boundary layer, are very important for the skin friction levels and can exert the separation due to adverse pressure gradients. Thus, separated boundary layer and vortices lead to turbulent fluctuations and increase the level of unsteadiness.

Shear layers, between the separated and main flow, act as cores of further developed turbulence levels and turbulent scales.

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Aforementioned, lead to worse efficiency, possible blades destruction, and problems related to other processes and elements, which make part of the turbine aggregate and installation. The aim of this work is to discuss the complexity of flows through turbine passages with a particular emphasis on turbulence and its mechanisms and to explain their effects on turbine aerodynamics and efficiency. The chapter discusses some current state of the art in regard to modeling and prediction of turbulence features, adequacy of turbulence models to achieve physically correct picture for flow parameters distribution in turbine stages.

The aim of this chapter is to discuss the follow characteristics and to provide the reader to a better understanding of turbulence mechanisms, their impact on other phenomena in turbines, on the design of turbine components and on the working regimes. Also, this work could be very helpful for researchers and engineers working on prediction of transition onset, turbulence effects, and their impact on the overall turbine performance.

Turbulence in turbine stages depends on many aerodynamic features and flow conditions. In this chapter, the author is trying to shed light, based on previously conducted researched works, on the unsteady effects and loss mechanisms in turbines, how they depend on the turbulence effects and how the aerodynamic performance could be compromised.


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In [ 4 ], an extensive review of loss generating mechanisms in turbomachinery is presented. The three principal sources of losses in turbine stage, are described as: viscous shear in boundary layers, shear layers and mixing processes; nonequilibrium processes such as shock waves and heat transfer processes. Boundary layers are known as highly viscous regions, also could be referred to as regions of steep velocity gradients and shear stresses. In the boundary layer, a higher amount of energy losses is produced in the areas where the steepest gradients are found [ 5 ].

Stator and rotor blades interact, thus unsteady flow perturbations will appear both in stationary and rotating frames of reference.


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Various aerodynamic effects, such as wake shedding at the trailing edge, secondary flows in radial direction, blade vibrations, flow leakage in axial gaps, shock waves and effects at trailing edge in transonic stages, angles of attack at the leading edges, etc.

Blades loading and forces, acting on blades, are significantly lower under aforementioned conditions, leading to less efficiency [ 7 ]. Such flow picture can occur at the trailing edge of the blade profile. The resulting frequency can be estimated based on the Strouhal number, Eq. In Eq. Turbulence intensity decays much slower than the velocity deficit in the wake [ 8 ].

The velocity deficit in an upstream blade wake can be perceived as an incidence variation by the downstream blade row. Turbulence levels in the wake can change the boundary layer from laminar to turbulent, leading to additional losses.


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The influence of wake will maintain through the blade rows far in a downstream direction. Flow, characterized by low velocities, has normal velocity component toward the suction side of the downstream blade, thus an upstream wake with low velocities and higher turbulence levels can move toward the suction side of the blade. In a similar way, a fluid characterized by higher velocity can move toward the pressure side of the downstream blades. This movement of fluid particles has the following major effects on the downstream blade row, as described in [ 9 ]: change in boundary layer characteristics of a profile through its effect on the transition processes; affects the secondary flow generation through the blades in downstream direction; and influences the wake mixing losses due to the phenomenon of wake stretching or compression.

One of the first studies related to the interaction between streamwise vortices and downstream blades is described in [ 10 ]. A significant increase in random unsteadiness at the front part of rotor blades, in regions associated with stator secondary flow, was observed. The vortex energy is converted into energy of random fluctuations during the process of vortex breakdown.

According to that model, a moment after the vortex is separated from the rotor blade, thus disturbance will create and will start propagate along the vortex axis, at the local speed of sound, whilst simultaneously being swept downstream, at the local convection velocity.

In [ 12 ], for one and a half stage, it is demonstrated that flow passing through the first row of rotor blades is highly unsteady and is much influenced by the flow generated between two adjacent stator blades. Upstream, flow disturbances can convect through the rotor blades, without interaction with last mentioned, for a short time and vice versa [ 12 ]. These vortices are convected downstream toward the next blade row where they interact with the main flow. The incoming boundary layer is modeled as a vortex filament ab and is shown that when this filament convects in downstream blade rows to def, it produces three forms of vorticity: secondary, trailing filament, and trailing shed vorticity.

The distributed secondary vorticity is result of the turning of the inlet vortex filament; the trailing filament vorticity forms due to the differences in velocity between the concave and convex surfaces. Furthermore, it was stated that these mechanisms contribute to the overall secondary flow generation [ 14 ].

Similar models were developed and presented by other scientists [ 15 , 16 ]. Every wake is initially represented as a perturbation in the uniform flow, as stated in [ 17 , 18 ]. Wakes are transported with the main flow and are cut up into separate segments by the downstream blades. Inside the blade passage, the wake continues to behave as a jet, taking energy from the main flow. The velocity induced by that jet leads to generation of wake flow over the convex blade surface; the induced wake structure over the concave blade surface disappears.

As a result of the blade circulation, in axial turbines, formed wake structures can stretch and shear over the blade surfaces or along the channel, they are travelling through [ 19 ].

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It is due to the fact that the part adjacent to the convex blade surface convects more rapidly in comparison with the part adjacent to the concave surface. As a result of these processes of bowing, stretching, shearing, and distortion, the wake is moved to the convex blade surfaces and its tail is stretched in direction back to the leading edge of rotor blades. This wake transport is a prerequisite to losses generated from mixing of wakes in the downstream direction [ 15 , 16 , 19 , 21 , 22 ].

Secondary flows lead to increase in losses, formed at the end walls, and to nonuniform distribution of exit flow angles. In turbomachines, the upstream end walls are rotating relatively to a blade row, thus the inlet boundary layer is expected to be skewed. Experiments, described in [ 23 — 25 ], show that already mentioned skew significantly can affect the existing passage vortices and losses. The streamwise vorticity, introduced to the flow, by the skewed boundary layer at the inlet, will strengthen the streamwise vorticity, observed at the exit; all that is visible in the direction of the turbine rotation.

Existing radial gaps lead to increase in the leakage mass flow rate and causes efficiency losses. Leakage flows are formed as a result of pressure differences between concave and convex blade surfaces, dominated by formed trailing vortices, shed in the downstream direction. These vortices can reduce the local turning, performed by the blade, and can generate decrease in the extracted mechanical energy.

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As a consequence of the viscous effects in the tip clearance, entropy increases. The second major feature is the subsequent mixing of flow, which passes through the tip clearance gap with that coming from the main flow. Flow structure in the tip region is studied and explained by a number of researchers; see Ref. Low pressure, generated immediately behind the trailing edge, leads to very high losses at the trailing edges. Flow expands around the trailing edge to that low pressure values and is then recompressed after a strong shock wave, where meet flows coming from suction and pressure sides [ 30 , 31 ].

The interaction between shocks and boundary layers can lead to unsteady boundary layer separations and increase in loss for transonic velocities [ 32 , 33 ]. The interface between primary and second phases is characterized by many aerodynamic and thermal effects.

Introduction to Turbulence & Turbulence Modeling

Knowledge of the turbulence characteristics related to the continuous vapor phase, modified due to the presence of the droplet field, is required to introduce closure for those models. Vapor core turbulence is known to influence interfacial shear and affects transport and specifics in structure of the dispersed liquid droplet field, and ultimately interfacial shear effects and droplets dynamics and deposition are affected by vapor core turbulence.

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Condensation processes in turbomachines are random and unsteady phenomenon. In case of liquid phase, the instantaneous flow velocity is decomposed into mean and fluctuating components:. The mean component of the fluid velocity will affect the average trajectory of flow particles. Two identical particles can have different trajectories due to the specifics in flow aerodynamics, such as secondary flows, turbulence, condensation, etc.