An experimental research program was undertaken to examine the influence of large-scale high, intensity turbulence on vane exit losses, wake growth, and exit turbulence characteristics. The experiment was conducted in a four vane linear cascade at an exit Reynolds number of 800, 000 based on chord length and an exit Mach number of 0.27. Exit measurements were made for four inlet turbulence conditions including a low turbulence case (Tu ≈ 1%), a grid-generated turbulence case (Tu ≈ 7.5%), and two levels of large-scale turbulence generated with a mock combustor (Tu ≈ 12% & Tu ≈ 8%).
Exit total pressure surveys were taken at two locations to quantify total pressure losses. The suction surface boundary layer was also traversed to determine losses due boundary layer growth. Losses were also found in the core of the flow for the elevated turbulence cases.
The elevated free stream turbulence was found to have a significant effect on wake growth. Generally, the wakes subjected to elevated free stream turbulence were broader and had smaller peak velocity deficits. Reynolds stress profiles exhibited asymmetry in peak amplitudes about the wake centerline, which are attributable to differences in the evolution of the boundary layers on the pressure and suction surfaces of the vanes.
The overall level of turbulence and dissipation inside the wakes and in the free stream was determined to document the rotor inlet boundary conditions. This is useful information for assessing rotor heat transfer and aerodynamics. Eddy diffusivities and mixing lengths were estimated using X-wire measurements of turbulent shear stress. The free stream turbulence was found to strongly affect eddy diffusivities, and thus wake mixing. At the last measuring position, the average eddy diffusivity in the wake of the high turbulence close combustor configuration (Tu ≈ 12) was three times that of the low turbulence wake.