Professor Nick Hills

Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, Professor of Computational Engineering

Qualifications: B.A. M.Sc. D.Phil.

Email:
Phone: Work: 01483 68 2356
Room no: 29 AB 03

Further information

Biography

Prof. Nick Hills is the Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences. He holds a Chair in Computational Engineering at the University of Surrey, and is also the Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Thermo-Fluid Systems. He previously held a Royal Academy of Engineering / Rolls-Royce Chair.

His research has focussed on CFD development, particularly for massively parallel simulations (including leading the UK Applied Aerodynamics Consortium with time on the national super-computing facilities), multi-physics models and their application to internal air systems for gas turbine engines. Research funding has been through EPSRC, InnovateUK, EU and direct industrial support.

Publications

Highlights

  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2012) 'A moving mesh algorithm for aero-thermo-mechanical modelling in turbomachinery'. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 70 (9), pp. 1118-1138.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the development of a mesh deformation method used for aero-thermo-mechanical coupling of turbo-engine components. The method is based on the nonlinear solution of an elastic medium analogy, solved using finite element discretisation and modified to let the boundary nodes be free to slide over the deflected surfaces. This sliding technique relies on a B-spline reconstruction of the moving boundary and increases the robustness of the method in situations where the boundary deflection field presents significant gradients or large relative motion between two distinct boundaries. The performance of the method is illustrated with the application to an interstage cavity of a turbine assembly, subjected to the deformations computed by a coupled thermo-mechanical analysis of the engine component.

  • Ganine V, Hills NJ, Lapworth BL. (2012) 'Nonlinear acceleration of coupled fluid-structure transient thermalproblems by Anderson mixing'. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids,

    Abstract

    Conjugate heat-transfer problems are typically solved using partitioned methods where fluid and solid subdomains are evaluated separately by dedicated solvers coupled through a common boundary. Strongly coupled schemes for transient analysis require fluid and solid problems to be solved many times each time step until convergence to a steady state. In many practical situations, a fairly simple and frequently employed fixed-point iteration process is rather ineffective; it leads to a large number of iterations per time step and consequently to long simulation times. In this article, Anderson mixing is proposed as a fixed-point convergence acceleration technique to reduce computational cost of thermal coupled fluid-solid problems. A number of other recently published methods with applications to similar fluid-structure interaction problems are also reviewed and analyzed. Numerical experiments are presented to illustrate relative performance of these methods on a test problem of rotating pre-swirl cavity air flow interacting with a turbine disk. It is observed that performance of Anderson mixing method is superior to that of other algorithms in terms of total iteration counts. Additional computational savings are demonstrated by reusing information from previously solved time steps. © All rights reserved 2012 Rolls-Royce plc.

  • O'Mahoney T, Hills N, Chew J. (2012) 'Sensitivity of LES results from turbine rim seals to changes in grid resolution and sector size'. Progress in Aerospace Sciences,
  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2012) 'Thermo-Mechanical Finite Element Analysis/Computational Fluid Dynamics Coupling of an Interstage Seal Cavity Using Torsional Spring Analogy'. Journal of Turbomachinery, 134 (5)

    Abstract

    The optimization of heat transfer between fluid and metal plays a crucial role in gas turbine design. An accurate prediction of temperature for each metal component can help to minimize the coolant flow requirement, with a direct reduction of the corresponding loss in the thermodynamic cycle. Traditionally, in industry fluid and solid simulations are conducted separately. The prediction of metal stresses and temperatures, generally based on finite element analysis, requires the definition of a thermal model whose reliability is largely dependent on the validity of the boundary conditions prescribed on the solid surface. These boundary conditions are obtained from empirical correlations expressing local conditions as a function of working parameters of the entire system, with validation being supplied by engine testing. However, recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of employing coupling techniques, whereby computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to predict the heat flux from the air to the metal, and this is coupled to the thermal analysis predicting metal temperatures. This paper describes an extension of this coupling process, accounting for the thermo-mechanical distortion of the metal through the engine cycle. Two distinct codes, a finite element analysis (FEA) solver for thermo-mechanical analysis and a finite volume solver for CFD, are iteratively coupled to produce temperatures and deformations of the solid part through an engine cycle. At each time step, the CFD mesh is automatically adapted to the FEA prediction of the metal position using efficient spring analogy methods, ensuring the continuity of the coupled process. As an example of this methodology, the cavity flow in a turbine stator well is investigated. In this test case, there is a strong link between the thermo-mechanical distortion, governing the labyrinth seal clearance, and the amount of flow through the stator well, which determines the resulting heat transfer in the stator well. This feedback loop can only be resolved by including the thermo-mechanical distortion within the coupling process. © 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

  • Javiya U, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Zhou L, Wilson M, Lock GD. (2011) 'CFD analysis of flow and heat transfer in a direct transfer preswirl system'. Journal of Turbomachinery, 134 (3)

Journal articles

  • Misev C, Hills N. (2018) 'Steepest Descent Optimisation of Runge-Kutta Coefficients for Second Order Implicit Finite Volume CFD Codes'. Journal of Computational Physics, 354, pp. 576-592.

    Abstract

    One of the key research topics in the computational fluid dynamics community is to improve the computational efficiency of steady-state finite volume codes. Real-world use cases require the solution to the Navier-Stokes equations for a wide range of Mach numbers, Reynolds numbers and mesh cell aspect ratios. This introduces stiffness in the discretised equations and therefore a slowdown in convergence. The community has pursued in particular two avenues to speed up the convergence of the corresponding error modes: Optimisation of Runge-Kutta coefficients for explicit Runge-Kutta schemes; and the introduction of implicit preconditioners, with a limited investigation of Runge-Kutta coefficients suitable to those implicit preconditioners. After proposing improvements to the implicit preconditioner, the present work proposes an optimisation procedure allowing the optimisation of the Runge-Kutta coefficients specifically for the implicit preconditioner. Employed on a realistic use case, the Runge-Kutta coefficients extracted with this method show a 20%−38% reduction of the number of iterations needed for convergence compared to Runge-Kutta coefficients recommended in the literature for comparable schemes and with the same computational cost per iteration.

  • Gao F, Chew J, Beard P, Amirante D, Hills N. (2018) 'Large-eddy simulation of unsteady turbine rim sealing flows'. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow,
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    Unsteady flow phenomena unrelated to the main gas-path blading have been identified in a number of turbine rim seal investigations. This unsteadiness has significant influence on the sealing effectiveness predicted by the conventional steady RANS (Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes) method, thus it is important for turbine stage design and optimisation. This paper presents CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modelling of a chute type rim seal that has been previously experimentally investigated. The study focuses on inherent large-scale unsteadiness rather than that imposed by vanes and blades or external flow. A large-eddy simulation (LES) solver is validated for a pipe flow test case and then applied to the chute rim seal rotor/stator cavity. LES, RANS and unsteady RANS (URANS) models all showed reasonable agreement with steady measurements within the disc cavity, but only the LES shows unsteadiness at a similar distinct peak frequency to that found in the experiment, at 23 times the rotational frequency. The boundary layer profile within the chute rim seal clearance has been scrutinised, which may explain the improvement of LES over RANS predictions for the pressure drop across the seal. LES results show a clockwise mean flow vortex. A more detailed sketch of the rim sealing flow unsteady flow structures is established with the help of the LES results. However, there are some significant differences between unsteadiness predicted and the measurements, and possible causes of these are discussed.

  • Noor Mohamed S, Chew J, Hills N. (2017) 'Effect of bolts on flow and heat transfer in a rotor-stator disc cavity'. ASME Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 139 (5) Article number 051901

    Abstract

    Previous studies have indicated some differences between steady CFD predictions of flow in a rotor-stator disc cavity with rotating bolts compared to measurements. Recently time-dependent CFD simulations have revealed the unsteadiness present in the flow and have given improved agreement with measurements. In this paper unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) 3600 model CFD calculations of a rotorstator cavity with rotor bolts were performed in order to better understand the flow and heat transfer within a disc cavity previously studied experimentally by other workers. It is shown that the rotating bolts generate unsteadiness due to wake shedding which creates time-dependent flow patterns within the cavity. At low throughflow conditions, the unsteady flow significantly increases the average disc temperature. A systematic parametric study is presented giving insight into the influence of number of bolts, mass flow rate, cavity gap ratio and the bolts-to-shroud gap ratio on the time depended flow within the cavity.

  • Noor Mohamed S, Chew J, Hills N. (2016) 'Flow and windage due to bolts on a rotating disc'. Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science (Part C, Proc. IMechE),
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    The cooling air in a rotating machine is subject to windage as it passes over the rotor surface, particularly for cases where non-axisymmetric features such as boltheads are encountered. The ability to accurately predict windage can help reduce the quantity of cooling air required, resulting in increased efficiency. Previous work has shown that steady CFD solutions can give reasonable predictions for the effects of bolts on disc moment for a rotor-stator cavity with throughflow but flow velocities and disc temperature are not well predicted. Large fluctuations in velocities have been observed experimentally in some cases. Time-dependent CFD simulations reported here bring to light the unsteady nature of the flow. Unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) calculations for 120 degree and 360 degree models of the rotor-stator cavity with 9 and 18 bolts were performed in order to better understand the flow physics. Although the rotor-stator cavity with bolts is geometrically steady in the rotating frame of reference, it was found that the bolts generate unsteadiness which creates time-dependent rotating flow features within the cavity. At low throughflow conditions, the unsteady flow significantly increases the average disc temperature.

  • Pitz DB, Chew J, Marxen O, Hills NJ. (2016) 'Direct Numerical Simulation of Rotating Cavity Flows Using a Spectral Element-Fourier Method'. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME,
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    in a rotor/stator cavity without heat transfer and buoyant flow in a rotor/rotor cavity. The numerical tool used employs a spectral element discretisation in two dimensions and a Fourier expansion in the remaining direction, which is periodic and corresponds to the azimuthal coordinate in cylindrical coordinates. The spectral element approximation uses a Galerkin method to discretise the governing equations, but employs high-order polynomials within each element to obtain spectral accuracy. A second-order, semi-implicit, stiffly stable algorithm is used for the time discretisation. Numerical results obtained for the rotor/ stator cavity compare favourably with experimental results for Reynolds numbers up to Re1 = 106 in terms of velocities and Reynolds stresses. The buoyancy-driven flow is simulated using the Boussinesq approximation. Predictions are compared with previous computational and experimental results. Analysis of the present results shows close correspondence to natural convection in a gravitational field and consistency with experimentally observed flow structures in a water-filled rotating annulus. Predicted mean heat transfer levels are higher than the available measurements for an air-filled rotating annulus, but in agreement with correlations for natural convection under gravity.

  • Ganine V, Amirante D, Hills N. (2015) 'Enhancing performance and scalability of data transfer across sliding grid interfaces for time-accurate unsteady simulations of multistage turbomachinery flows'. Computers and Fluids, 115, pp. 140-153.

    Abstract

    © 2015 .High fidelity simulations of the flow phenomena around complex geometries for turbomachinery applications require fluid solvers to run on ever increasing processor counts. For fully unsteady predictions in rotor-stator systems most of CFD codes employ the sliding interface technique. However, the scalability and efficiency of current sliding grid parallel implementations are significantly constrained by the computation and communication imbalances. They are associated with data transfer across discrete non-matching interfaces. To prepare for the challenges at extreme scales in this paper we attempt to redesign the algorithm in such a way that it maintains the scalability of the original CFD code on static grids. In the proposed parallel implementation the cell containment search and interpolation workloads are balanced by employing a deterministic geometric decomposition on an intermediate "rendezvous" set of processes. Rapidly changing dynamic communication patterns induced by the grids relative motion are handled with a sparse communication protocol. The scaling behavior and performance of the developed technique are analyzed using realistic test cases on two different computing systems.

  • Sun Z, Amirante D, Chew J, Hills NJ. (2015) 'Coupled Aero-Thermal Modeling of a Rotating Cavity with Radial Inflow'. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME,
    [ Status: Accepted ]
  • Amirante D, Hills NJ. (2015) 'Large-Eddy Simulations of Wall Bounded Turbulent Flows Using Unstructured Linear Reconstruction Techniques'. JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, 137 (5) Article number ARTN 051006
  • Montomoli F, Amirante D, Hills N, Shahpar S, Massini M. (2015) 'Uncertainty Quantification, Rare Events, and Mission Optimization: Stochastic Variations of Metal Temperature During a Transient'. JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, 137 (4) Article number ARTN 042101
  • Javiya U, Chew J, Hills N, Scanlon T. (2015) 'Coupled FE-CFD Thermal Analysis for a Cooled Turbine DisK'. PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PART C-JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE,

    Abstract

    This paper presents transient aero-thermal analysis for a gas turbine disk and the surrounding air flows through a transient slam acceleration/deceleration “square cycle” engine test, and compares predictions with engine measurements. The transient solid-fluid interaction calculations were performed with an innovative coupled finite element (FE) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach. The computer model includes an aero-engine high pressure turbine (HPT) disk, adjacent structure, and the surrounding internal air system cavities. The model was validated through comparison with the engine temperature measurements and is also compared with industry standard standalone FE modelling. Numerical calculations using a 2D FE model with axisymmetric and 3D CFD solutions are presented and compared. Strong coupling between CFD solutions for different air system cavities and the FE solid model led to some numerical difficulties. These were addressed through improvement to the coupling algorithm. Overall performance of the coupled approach is very encouraging giving temperature predictions as good as a traditional model that had been calibrated against engine measurements.

  • Jammy SP, Hills N, Birch DM. (2014) 'Boundary conditions and vortex wandering'. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 747, pp. 350-368.

    Abstract

    A direct numerical simulation of a Batchelor vortex has been carried out in the presence of freely-decaying turbulence, using both periodic and symmetric boundary conditions; the latter most closely approximates typical experimental conditions, while the former is often used in computational simulations for the purposes of numerical convenience. The higher-order velocity statistics were shown to be strongly dependent upon the boundary conditions, but the dependence could be mostly eliminated by correcting for the random, Gaussian modulation of the vortex trajectory commonly referred to as 'wandering' using a technique often employed in the analysis of experimental data. Once corrected for this wandering, the strong peaks in the Reynolds stresses normally observed at the vortex centre were replaced by smaller local extrema located within the core region but away from the centre. The distributions of the corrected Reynolds stresses suggested that the formation and organization of secondary structures within the core is the main mechanism in turbulent production during the linear growth phase of vortex development.

  • Javiya U, Chew J, Hills N, Dullenkopf K, Scanlon T. (2013) 'Evaluation of computational fluid dynamics and coupled fluid-solid modeling for a direct transfer preswirl system'. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 135 (5)

    Abstract

    The prediction of the preswirl cooling air delivery and disk metal temperature are important for the cooling system performance and the rotor disk thermal stresses and life assessment. In this paper, standalone 3D steady and unsteady computation fluid dynamics (CFD), and coupled FE-CFD calculations are presented for prediction of these temperatures. CFD results are compared with previous measurements from a direct transfer preswirl test rig. The predicted cooling air temperatures agree well with the measurement, but the nozzle discharge coefficients are under predicted. Results from the coupled FE-CFD analyses are compared directly with thermocouple temperature measurements and with heat transfer coefficients on the rotor disk previously obtained from a rotor disk heat conduction solution. Considering the modeling limitations, the coupled approach predicted the solid metal temperatures well. Heat transfer coefficients on the rotor disk from CFD show some effect of the temperature variations on the heat transfer coefficients. Reasonable agreement is obtained with values deduced from the previous heat conduction solution. © 2013 by ASME.

  • Vinod Kumar BG, Chew JW, Hills NJ. (2013) 'Rotating flow and heat transfer in cylindrical cavities with radial inflow'. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 135 (3)

    Abstract

    The design and optimization of an efficient internal air system of a gas turbine requires a thorough understanding of the flow and heat transfer in rotating disc cavities. The present study is devoted to the numerical modeling of flow and heat transfer in a cylindrical cavity with radial inflow and a comparison with the available experimental data. The simulations are carried out with axisymmetric and 3-D sector models for various inlet swirl and rotational Reynolds numbers up to 1.2 × 106. The pressure coefficients and Nusselt numbers are compared with the available experimental data and integral method solutions. Two popular eddy viscosity models, the Spalart-Allmaras and the k-É, and a Reynolds stress model have been used. For cases with particularly strong vortex behavior the eddy viscosity models show some shortcomings, with the Spalart-Allmaras model giving slightly better results than the k-É model. Use of the Reynolds stress model improved the agreement with measurements for such cases. The integral method results are also found to agree well with the measurements. © 2013 by ASME.

  • Ganine V, Hills NJ, Lapworth BL. (2013) 'Nonlinear acceleration of coupled fluid-structure transient thermalproblems by Anderson mixing'. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 71 (8), pp. 939-959.

    Abstract

    Conjugate heat-transfer problems are typically solved using partitioned methods where fluid and solid subdomains are evaluated separately by dedicated solvers coupled through a common boundary. Strongly coupled schemes for transient analysis require fluid and solid problems to be solved many times each time step until convergence to a steady state. In many practical situations, a fairly simple and frequently employed fixed-point iteration process is rather ineffective; it leads to a large number of iterations per time step and consequently to long simulation times. In this article, Anderson mixing is proposed as a fixed-point convergence acceleration technique to reduce computational cost of thermal coupled fluid-solid problems. A number of other recently published methods with applications to similar fluid-structure interaction problems are also reviewed and analyzed. Numerical experiments are presented to illustrate relative performance of these methods on a test problem of rotating pre-swirl cavity air flow interacting with a turbine disk. It is observed that performance of Anderson mixing method is superior to that of other algorithms in terms of total iteration counts. Additional computational savings are demonstrated by reusing information from previously solved time steps. © All rights reserved 2012 Rolls-Royce plc.

  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2012) 'A moving mesh algorithm for aero-thermo-mechanical modelling in turbomachinery'. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 70 (9), pp. 1118-1138.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the development of a mesh deformation method used for aero-thermo-mechanical coupling of turbo-engine components. The method is based on the nonlinear solution of an elastic medium analogy, solved using finite element discretisation and modified to let the boundary nodes be free to slide over the deflected surfaces. This sliding technique relies on a B-spline reconstruction of the moving boundary and increases the robustness of the method in situations where the boundary deflection field presents significant gradients or large relative motion between two distinct boundaries. The performance of the method is illustrated with the application to an interstage cavity of a turbine assembly, subjected to the deformations computed by a coupled thermo-mechanical analysis of the engine component.

  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2012) 'A moving mesh algorithm for aero-thermo-mechanical modelling in turbomachinery'. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 70 (9), pp. 1118-1138.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the development of a mesh deformation method used for aero-thermo-mechanical coupling of turbo-engine components. The method is based on the nonlinear solution of an elastic medium analogy, solved using finite element discretisation and modified to let the boundary nodes be free to slide over the deflected surfaces. This sliding technique relies on a B-spline reconstruction of the moving boundary and increases the robustness of the method in situations where the boundary deflection field presents significant gradients or large relative motion between two distinct boundaries. The performance of the method is illustrated with the application to an interstage cavity of a turbine assembly, subjected to the deformations computed by a coupled thermo-mechanical analysis of the engine component. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • Ganine V, Hills NJ, Lapworth BL. (2012) 'Nonlinear acceleration of coupled fluid-structure transient thermalproblems by Anderson mixing'. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids,

    Abstract

    Conjugate heat-transfer problems are typically solved using partitioned methods where fluid and solid subdomains are evaluated separately by dedicated solvers coupled through a common boundary. Strongly coupled schemes for transient analysis require fluid and solid problems to be solved many times each time step until convergence to a steady state. In many practical situations, a fairly simple and frequently employed fixed-point iteration process is rather ineffective; it leads to a large number of iterations per time step and consequently to long simulation times. In this article, Anderson mixing is proposed as a fixed-point convergence acceleration technique to reduce computational cost of thermal coupled fluid-solid problems. A number of other recently published methods with applications to similar fluid-structure interaction problems are also reviewed and analyzed. Numerical experiments are presented to illustrate relative performance of these methods on a test problem of rotating pre-swirl cavity air flow interacting with a turbine disk. It is observed that performance of Anderson mixing method is superior to that of other algorithms in terms of total iteration counts. Additional computational savings are demonstrated by reusing information from previously solved time steps. © All rights reserved 2012 Rolls-Royce plc.

  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2012) 'Use of dynamic meshes for transient metal temperature prediction'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 4 (PARTS A AND B), pp. 2073-2084.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the thermal analysis conducted on a three-dimensional model of a stator well contained within a turbine assembly. A methodology has been developed for coupled fluid-solid modelling accounting for the boundary deflections predicted by the structural analysis. The coupling is obtained through an iterative process between a finite element code (FEA) performing structural and thermal analysis for the solid part, and a finite volume solver for the CFD. As the engine runs transiently through a specified flight cycle, the FEA predictions of metal deformations and temperatures are passed to the CFD code, which in turns computes the heat fluxes over the metal surfaces. A robust moving mesh technique is used to automatically modify an initial mesh, based on the cold geometry, to the time dependent boundary deflections. Thus, the methodology guarantees that the CFD is always carried out on the hot-running geometry. A thorough investigation into the flow physics involved in the stator well is conducted. It is shown that an accurate thermal modelling for transient regimes necessitates the correct prediction of the time dependent clearances present in the system. Even small changes in the clearances may cause a transition between different dynamic behaviours, egress or ingestion, ultimately leading to drastically different thermal responses. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

  • Ganine V, Javiya U, Hills N, Chew J. (2012) 'Coupled fluid-structure transient thermal analysis of a gas turbine internal air system with multiple cavities'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 4 (PARTS A AND B), pp. 2167-2177.

    Abstract

    This paper presents the transient aero-thermal analysis of a gas turbine internal air system through an engine flight cycle featuring multiple fluid cavities that surround a HP turbine disk and the adjacent structures. Strongly coupled fluid-structure thermal interaction problems require significant computational effort to resolve nonlinearities on the interface for each time step. Simulation times may grow impractical if multiple fluid domains are included in the analysis. A new strategy is employed to decrease the cost of coupled aero-thermal analysis. Significantly lower fluid domain solver invocation counts are demonstrated as opposed to the traditional coupling approach formulated on the estimates of heat transfer coefficient. Numerical results are presented using 2D FE conduction model combined with 2D flow calculation in five separate cavities interconnected through the inlet and outlet boundaries. The coupled solutions are discussed and validated against a nominal stand-alone model. Relative performance of both coupling techniques is evaluated. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

  • O'Mahoney T, Hills N, Chew J. (2012) 'Sensitivity of LES results from turbine rim seals to changes in grid resolution and sector size'. Progress in Aerospace Sciences,
  • Sun Z, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ, Valencia AG. (2012) '3D coupled fluid-solid thermal simulation of a turbine disc through a transient cycle'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 4 (PARTS A AND B), pp. 1959-1969.

    Abstract

    Thermal analysis of a turbine disc through a transient test cycle is demonstrated using 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling for the cooling flow and 3D finite element analysis (FEA) for the disc. The test case is a 3D angular sector of the high pressure (HP) turbine assembly of a civil jet engine and includes details of the coolant flow around the blade roots. Proprietary FEA and CFD solvers are used to simulate the metal and fluid domains, respectively. Coupling is achieved through an iterative loop with smooth exchange of information between the FEA and CFD simulations at each time step, ensuring consistency of temperature and heat flux on the coupled interfaces between the metal and fluid domains. The coupled simulation can be completed within a few weeks using a PC cluster with multiple parallel CFD executions. The FEA/CFD coupled result agrees well with corresponding rig test data and the baseline 3D and 2D FEA solutions, which have been calibrated using test data. Provision of upstream boundary conditions and modeling of rapid transients are identified as areas of uncertainty. Averaging of CFD solutions and relaxation is used to overcome difficulties caused by CFD oscillations associated with flow unsteadiness. The present work supports the continued use and development of the FEA/CFD coupling method for industrial applications. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

  • Ganine V, Javiya U, Hills N, Chew J. (2012) 'Coupled fluid-structure transient thermal analysis of a gas turbine internal air system with multiple cavities'. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 134 (10)

    Abstract

    This paper presents the transient aerothermal analysis of a gas turbine internal air system through an engine flight cycle featuring multiple fluid cavities that surround a HP turbine disk and the adjacent structures. Strongly coupled fluid-structure thermal interaction problems require significant computational effort to resolve nonlinearities on the interface for each time step. Simulation times may grow impractical if multiple fluid domains are included in the analysis. A new strategy is employed to decrease the cost of coupled aerothermal analysis. Significantly lower fluid domain solver invocation counts are demonstrated as opposed to the traditional coupling approach formulated on the estimates of heat transfer coefficient. Numerical results are presented using 2D finite element conduction model combined with 2D flow calculation in five separate cavities interconnected through the inlet and outlet boundaries. The coupled solutions are discussed and validated against a nominal stand-alone model. Relative performance of both coupling techniques is evaluated. © 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

  • O'Mahoney T, Hills N, Chew J. (2012) 'Sensitivity of les results from turbine rim seals to changes in grid resolution and sector size'. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 52, pp. 48-55.

    Abstract

    Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) were carried out for a turbine rim seal and the sensitivity of the results to changes in grid resolution and the size of the computational domain are investigated. Ingestion of hot annulus gas into the rotor-stator cavity is compared between LES results and against experiments and Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) calculations. The LES calculations show greater ingestion than the URANS calculation and show better agreement with experiments. Increased grid resolution shows a small improvement in ingestion predictions whereas increasing the sector model size has little effect on the results. The contrast between the different CFD models is most stark in the inner cavity, where the URANS shows almost no ingestion. Particular attention is also paid to the presence of low frequency oscillations in the disc cavity. URANS calculations show such low frequency oscillations at different frequencies than the LES. The oscillations also take a very long time to develop in the LES. The results show that the difficult problem of estimating ingestion through rim seals could be overcome by using LES but that the computational requirements were still restrictive. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Javiya U, Chew J, Hills N, Dullenkopf K, Scanlon T. (2012) 'Evaluation of CFD and coupled fluid-solid modelling for a direct transfer pre-swirl system'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 4 (PARTS A AND B), pp. 2179-2190.

    Abstract

    The prediction of the pre-swirl cooling air delivery and disc metal temperature are important for the cooling system performance and the rotor disc thermal stresses and life assessment. In this paper, standalone 3D steady and unsteady CFD, and coupled FE-CFD calculations are presented for prediction of these temperatures. CFD results are compared with previous measurements from a direct transfer pre-swirl test rig. The predicted cooling air temperatures agree well with the measurement, but the nozzle discharge coefficients are under predicted. Results from the coupled FE-CFD analyses are compared directly with thermocouple temperature measurements and with heat transfer coefficients on the rotor disc previously obtained from a rotor disc heat conduction solution. Considering the modelling limitations, the coupled approach predicted the solid metal temperatures well. Heat transfer coefficients on the rotor disc from CFD show some effect of the temperature variations on the heat transfer coefficients. Reasonable agreement is obtained with values deduced from the previous heat conduction solution. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

  • Hills N. (2012) 'Foreword to JPAS special issue on applied computational aerodynamics and high performance computing in the UK'. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 52
  • Vinod Kumar B, Chew J, Hills NJ. (2012) 'Rotating flow and heat transfer in cylindrical cavities with radial inflow'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 4 (PARTS), pp. 2047-2060.

    Abstract

    Design and optimization of an efficient internal air system of a gas turbine requires thorough understanding of the flow and heat transfer in rotating disc cavities. The present study is devoted to numerical modelling of flow and heat transfer in a cylindrical cavity with radial inflow and comparison with the available experimental data. The simulations are carried out with axi-symmetric and 3-D sector models for various inlet swirl and rotational Reynolds numbers upto 2.1×106. The pressure coefficients and Nusselt numbers are compared with the available experimental data and integral method solutions. Two popular eddy viscosity models, the Spalart-Allmaras and the k-e , and a Reynolds stress model have been used . For cases with particularly strong vortex behaviour the eddy viscosity models show some shortcomings with the Spalart-Allmaras model giving slightly better results than the k-e model. Use of the Reynolds stress model improved the agreement with measurements for such cases. The integral method results are also found to agree well with the measurements. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2012) 'Thermo-Mechanical Finite Element Analysis/Computational Fluid Dynamics Coupling of an Interstage Seal Cavity Using Torsional Spring Analogy'. Journal of Turbomachinery, 134 (5)

    Abstract

    The optimization of heat transfer between fluid and metal plays a crucial role in gas turbine design. An accurate prediction of temperature for each metal component can help to minimize the coolant flow requirement, with a direct reduction of the corresponding loss in the thermodynamic cycle. Traditionally, in industry fluid and solid simulations are conducted separately. The prediction of metal stresses and temperatures, generally based on finite element analysis, requires the definition of a thermal model whose reliability is largely dependent on the validity of the boundary conditions prescribed on the solid surface. These boundary conditions are obtained from empirical correlations expressing local conditions as a function of working parameters of the entire system, with validation being supplied by engine testing. However, recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of employing coupling techniques, whereby computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to predict the heat flux from the air to the metal, and this is coupled to the thermal analysis predicting metal temperatures. This paper describes an extension of this coupling process, accounting for the thermo-mechanical distortion of the metal through the engine cycle. Two distinct codes, a finite element analysis (FEA) solver for thermo-mechanical analysis and a finite volume solver for CFD, are iteratively coupled to produce temperatures and deformations of the solid part through an engine cycle. At each time step, the CFD mesh is automatically adapted to the FEA prediction of the metal position using efficient spring analogy methods, ensuring the continuity of the coupled process. As an example of this methodology, the cavity flow in a turbine stator well is investigated. In this test case, there is a strong link between the thermo-mechanical distortion, governing the labyrinth seal clearance, and the amount of flow through the stator well, which determines the resulting heat transfer in the stator well. This feedback loop can only be resolved by including the thermo-mechanical distortion within the coupling process. © 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

  • O'Mahoney T, Hills NJ, Chew J, Scanlon T. (2011) 'Large-Eddy simulation of rim seal ingestion'. PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PART C-JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE, 225 (C12), pp. 2881-2891.

    Abstract

    Unsteady flow dynamics in turbine rim seals are known to be complex and attempts accurately to predict the interaction of the mainstream flow with the secondary air system cooling flows using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) turbulence models have proved difficult. In particular, published results from RANS models have over-predicted the sealing effectiveness of the rim seal, although their use in this context continues to be common. Previous studies have ascribed this discrepancy to the failure to model flow structures with a scale greater than the one which can be captured in the small-sector models typically used. This article presents results from a series of Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) of a turbine stage including a rim seal and rim cavity for, it is believed by the authors, the first time. The simulations were run at a rotational Reynolds number Re ¼ 2.2 106 and a main annulus axial Reynolds number Rex ¼ 1.3 106 and with varying levels of coolant mass flow. Comparison is made with previously published experimental data and with unsteady RANS simulations. The LES models are shown to be in closer agreement with the experimental sealing effectiveness than the unsteady RANS simulations. The result indicates that the previous failure to predict rim seal effectiveness was due to turbulence model limitations in the turbine rim seal flow. Consideration is given to the flow structure in this region. K

  • Javiya U, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Zhou L, Wilson M, Lock GD. (2011) 'CFD analysis of flow and heat transfer in a direct transfer preswirl system'. Journal of Turbomachinery, 134 (3)
  • Chew JW, Hills NJ. (2009) 'Computational fluid dynamics and virtual aeroengine modelling'. PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PART C-JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE, 223 (12), pp. 2821-2834.
  • Chew JW, Hills NJ. (2007) 'Computational fluid dynamics for turbomachinery internal air systems'. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES, 365 (1859), pp. 2587-2611.
  • Hills N. (2007) 'Achieving high parallel performance for an unstructured unsteady turbomachinery CFD code'. AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, 111 (1117), pp. 185-193.
  • Boudet J, Hills NJ, Chew JW. (2006) 'Numerical simulation of the flow interaction between turbine main annulus and disc cavities'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 6 PART A, pp. 553-562.

    Abstract

    This paper presents numerical simulations of the unsteady flow interactions between the main annulus and the disc cavity for an axial turbine. The simulations show the influence of the main annulus asymmetries (vane wakes, blade potential effect), and the appearance of rim seal flow instabilities. The generation of secondary frequencies due to non-linear interactions is observed, and the possibility of further low frequency effects and resonance is noted. The computations are compared to experimental results, looking at tracer gas concentration and mass-flows. Results are further analysed to investigate the influence of the rim seal flow on the blading aerodynamics. The flow that is ejected through the rim seal influences the unsteady flow impinging the blades. The influence of this rim-seal flow is even observed downstream of the blades, where it distorts the radial profile of stagnation temperature. Copyright © 2006 by ASME.

  • Illingworth JB, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2005) '3D fluid - Solid heat transfer coupling of an aero engine pre-swirl system'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 3 PART A, pp. 801-811.

    Abstract

    This paper examines the application of a newly developed code, which couples a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code (FLUENT) directly to an in-house finite element solver used by Rolls-Royce plc. The coupling is achieved by passing metal temperatures from the finite element solver to define CFD boundary conditions, and then passing heat fluxes from the resulting CFD solutions back to the finite element model. This coupling method was applied to a real engine test case, modelling the pre-swirl system of the Rolls-Royce Trent 500 aero engine. The initial phase of the analysis couples an axisymmetric finite element whole engine model to two axisymmetric CFD models. The CFD models define the pre-swirl fluid domain during idle and maximum take off engine running conditions. This demonstrates the code's ability to accommodate temperature transients through the use of multiple CFD models. A further analysis is then performed coupling the same finite element engine model to a 3D CFD model replicating stabilised maximum take off conditions. This is compared with the axisymmetric to axisymmetric analysis to identify the approximations inherent in using an axisymmetric model to investigate a three dimensional flow structure. Copyright © 2005 by ASME.

  • Sun Z, Chew J, Kifoil A, Hills NJ. (2004) 'Numerical simulation of natural convection in stationary and rotating cavities'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2004, 4, pp. 381-389.

    Abstract

    In compressor inter-disc cavities with a central axial throughflow it is known that the flow and heat transfer is strongly affected by buoyancy in the centrifugal force field. As a step towards developing CFD methods for such flows, buoyancy-driven flows under gravity in a closed cube and under centrifugal force in a sealed rotating annulus have been studied. Numerical simulations are compared with the experimental results of Kirkpatrick and Bohn (1986) and Bohn et al (1993). Two different CFD codes have been used and are shown to agree for the stationary cube problem. Unsteady simulations for the stationary cube show good agreement with measurements of heat transfer, temperature fluctuations, and velocity fluctuations for Rayleigh numbers up to 2 × 10 . Similar simulations for the rotating annulus also show good agreement with measured heat transfer rates. The CFD results confirm Bohn et al's results, showing reduced heat transfer and a different Rayleigh number dependency compared to gravity-driven flow. Large scale flow structures are found to occur, at all Rayleigh numbers considered.

  • Chew JW, Hills NJ, Khalatov S, Scanlon T, Turner AB. (2003) 'Measurement and analysis of flow in a pre-swirled cooling air delivery system'. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, International Gas Turbine Institute, Turbo Expo (Publication) IGTI, 5 B, pp. 913-920.

    Abstract

    Measurements and analysis for a pre-swirl cooling air delivery system are reported here. The experimental rig used is representative of aero-engine conditions, having 18 pre-swirl nozzles, 72 receiver holes, capable of speeds up to 11 000 rpm, and giving differences between total temperature upstream of the pre-swirl nozzles and relative total temperature measured in the receiver holes of up to 26K. Pressure and temperature measurements are reported. An elementary model is developed for calculation of the cooling air delivery temperature. This accounts for the pre-swirl nozzle velocity coefficient, moments on the stationary and rotating surfaces in the pre-swirl chamber, and flows through the inner and outer seals to the chamber. The model is shown to correlate the measurements well for a range of disc speeds and pre-swirl velocity to disc speed ratios.

  • Gentilhomme O, Hills NJ, Turner A, Chew J . (2002) 'Measurement and analysis of ingestion through a turbine rim seal'. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, International Gas Turbine Institute, Turbo Expo (Publication) IGTI, 3 B, pp. 925-934.

    Abstract

    Experimental measurements from a new single stage turbine are presented. The turbine has 26 vanes and 59 rotating blades with a design point stage expansion ratio of 2.5 and vane exit Mach number of 0.96. A variable sealing flow is supplied to the disc cavity upstream of the rotor and then enters the annulus through a simple axial clearance seal situated on the hub between the stator and rotor. Measurements at the annulus hub wall just downstream of the vanes show the degree of circumferential pressure variation. Further pressure measurements in the disc cavity indicate the strength of the swirling flow in the cavity, and show the effects of mainstream gas ingestion at low sealing flows. Ingestion is further quantified through seeding of the sealing air with nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide and measurement of gas concentrations in the cavity. Interpretation of the measurements is aided by steady and unsteady computational fluid dynamics solutions, and comparison with an elementary model of ingestion.

  • Guardino C, Chew JW, Hills NJ. (2002) 'Calculation of surface roughness effects on air-riding seals'. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, International Gas Turbine Institute, Turbo Expo (Publication) IGTI, 3 B, pp. 795-803.

    Abstract

    The effects of surface roughness on air-riding seals are investigated here using the Rayleigh-pad as an example. Both incompressible and compressible flows are considered using both CFD analysis and analytical/numerical solutions of the Reynolds equation for various 2D or 3D roughness patterns on the stationary wall. A 'unit-based' approach for incompressible flows has also been employed and is shown to be computationally much less expensive than the full-geometry solution. Results are presented showing the effect of surface roughness on the net lift force. The effects of varying the Reynolds number are demonstrated, as well as comparative results for static stiffness.

  • Verdicchio JA, Chew JW, Hills NJ. (2001) 'Coupled fluid/solid heat transfer computation for turbine discs'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 3

    Abstract

    This paper considers the coupling of a finite element thermal conduction solver with a steady, finite volume fluid flow solver. Two methods were considered for passing boundary conditions between the two codes - transfer of metal temperatures and either convective heat fluxes or heat transfer coefficients and air temperatures. These methods have been tested on two simple rotating cavity test cases and also on a more complex real engine example. Convergence rates of the two coupling methods were compared. Passing heat transfer coefficients and air temperatures was found to give the quickest convergence. The coupled method gave agreement with the analytic solution and a conjugate solution of the simple free disc problem. The predicted heat transfer results for the real engine example showed some encouraging agreement, although some modelling issues are identified. Copyright © 2001 by ASME.

  • Hills NJ, Chew JW, Turner AB. (2001) 'Computational and mathematical modelling of turbine rim seal ingestion'. Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, 3

    Abstract

    Understanding and modelling of main annulus gas ingestion through turbine rim seals is considered and advanced in this paper. Unsteady 3-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations and results from a more elementary model are presented and compared with experimental data previously published by Hills et al (1997). The most complete CFD model presented includes both stator and rotor in the main annulus and the inter-disc cavity. The k-ε model of turbulence with standard wall function approximations is assumed in the model which was constructed in a commercial CFD code employing a pressure correction solution algorithm. It is shown that considerable care is needed to ensure convergence of the CFD model to a periodic solution. Compared to previous models, results from the CFD model show encouraging agreement with pressure and gas concentration measurements. The annulus gas ingestion is shown to result from a combination of the stationary and rotating circumferential pressure asymmetries in the annulus. Inertial effects associated with the circumferential velocity component of the flow have an important effect on the degree of ingestion. The elementary model used is an extension of earlier models based on orifice theory applied locally around the rim seal circumference. The new model includes a term accounting for inertial effects. Some good qualitative and fair quantitative agreement with data is shown. Copyright © 2001 by ASME.

  • Alexiou A, Hills NJ, Long C, Turner AB, Millward JA. (2000) 'Heat transfer in high-pressure compressor gas turbine internal air systems: A arotating disc-cone cavity with axial throughflow'. Experimental Heat Transfer, 13 (1-4), pp. 299-328.

    Abstract

    This article reports on heat transfer measurements made on a rotating test rig representing the internal disc-cone cavity of a gas turbine high-pressure (H.P.) compressor stack. Tests were carried out for a range of flow rates and rotational speeds at engine representative nondimensional conditions. The rig also had a central drive shaft, which could rotate in the same direction as the discs, contrarotate relative to the discs, or remain static. Measurements of heat transfer were obtained from a conduction solution method using measured surface temperatures as boundary conditions. Results from the outer surface of the cone are in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions for the heat transfer from a free cone in turbulent flow. The heat transfer measurements from the inner surface of the cone reveal two regimes of heat transfer: one governed by rotation, the other by action of the throughflow. In the rotationally dominated regime, the heat transfer from the inner surface of the cone is higher for a co-rotating shaft than for either a static or contra-rotating shaft. In the throughflow-dominated regime the heat transfer shows little consistent dependence on the direction of shaft rotation. Tests carried out at different values of surface-to-fluid temperature difference add support to the hypothesis that in the rotationally dominated regime the heat transfer occurs through a process of free convection, where the buoyancy force is induced by rotation. The heat transfer from the disc is significantly lower than that from the inner surface of the cone and more or less insensitive to the sense of shaft rotation. The disc average Nusselt numbers show similar behavior to those from the inner surface of the cone and suggest that the disc heat transfer too is governed either by rotationally induced buoyancy or by the axial throughflow.

  • Alexiou A, Hills NJ, Long CA, Turner AB, Wong LS, Millward JA. (2000) 'Discharge coefficients for flow through holes normal to a rotating shaft'. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 21 (6), pp. 701-709.

    Abstract

    A possible design for a more compact gas turbine engine uses contra-rotating high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) turbine discs. Cooling air for the IP turbine stages is taken from the compressor and transferred to the turbine stage via holes in the drive shaft. The aim of this work was to investigate the discharge coefficient characteristics of the holes in this rotating shaft, and, in particular, to ascertain whether the sense of rotation of the shaft with respect to the discs affected these significantly. This paper reports mostly on experimental measurements of the discharge coefficients. Some CFD modelling of this flow was carried out and this has helped to explain the experimental work. The experimental results show the effects on the discharge coefficient of rotational speed, flow rate, and co- and contra-rotations of the shaft relative to the discs. The measured values of the discharge coefficient are compared with established experimental data for non-rotating holes in the presence of a cross-flow. For stationary shaft and discs, co-rotation of the shaft and discs and differential rotation with the disc speed less than the shaft (in the same rotational direction), the discharge coefficients are in reasonable agreement with these data. For differential rotation (including contra-rotation) with the disc speed greater than the shaft, there is a significant decrease in discharge coefficient.

  • Alexiou A, Hills NJ, Long CA, Turner AB. (2000) 'Heat transfer in high-pressure compressor gas turbine internal air systems: A rotating disc-cone cavity with axial throughflow'. EXPERIMENTAL HEAT TRANSFER, 13 (4), pp. 299-328.
  • Turner AB, Long CA, Childs PRN, Hills NJ, Millward JA. (1997) 'Review of some current problems in gas turbine secondary systems'. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Paper),

    Abstract

    This paper reviews the current position of five major problem areas in gas turbine secondary air system design. Although the problems are of primary interest to the designer of the coolant flow paths, since they directly affect the temperature, the stresses and thus the life of the major rotating components, three of the problems interact with the main gas path and are thus also the concern of the mainstream aerodynamicist. The five problems reviewed are: prediction of the flow distribution and heat transfer in the high pressure compressor drive cone cavity from the turbine to the rim of the HP compressor running underneath the combustion chamber; the flow penetration and heat transfer in the multiple rotating cavities formed by the multiple discs of the high pressure compressor with a rotating shaft running through the bores; the control of ingestion of hot turbine mainstream gas into the rotor-stator wheelspaces through the rim-seals; the problem of compressor and turbine stator-well heating, particularly compressor stator-wells in which excessive temperatures have been occasionally measured and finally, the pre-swirl coolant system which has to take the blade cooling air across from the stationary casing to the rotating turbine disc in the most advantageous manner.

Conference papers

  • Kumar R, Chew J, Amirante D, Murua J, Hills NJ. (2017) 'CFD Simulation of Blade Flows With High Amplitude Pitching'. ASME Proceedings of ASME 2017: Oil and Gas Applications; Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles; Wind Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA: ASME 2017 Turbomachinery Technical Conference & Exposition (Turbo Expo) 9
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    Large and flexible wind turbine blades may be susceptible to severe blade deformations coupled with dynamic stall. To advance prediction capability for this problem a general deforming mesh computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method has been developed for calculating flows with moving or deforming boundaries using an elastic spring analogy. The method has been evaluated against experimental data for flow around a pitching NACA0012 airfoil in the deep dynamic stall regime where flow is highly separated, and compared with other authors0 CFD simulations for pitching airfoil. The effects of varying the reduced frequency are also investigated. During the upstroke the present results are in generally good agreement with experiment and other CFD studies. During the downstroke some differences with experiment and other CFD models are apparent. This may be due to the sensitivity of the separated flow to modelling assumptions and experimental conditions. Overall, the degree of agreement between CFD and experiment is considered encouraging.

  • Gao F, Chew J, Beard P, Amirante D, Hills NJ. (2017) 'Numerical Studies of Turbine Rim Sealing Flows on a Chute Seal Configuration'. Proceedings of 12th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid dynamics & Thermodynamics, Stockholm, Sweden: 12th European Turbomachinery Conference
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    This paper presents CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modelling of a chute type rim seal that has been previously experimentally investigated. The study focuses on inherent large-scale unsteadiness rather than that imposed by vanes and blades or external flow. A large-eddy simulation (LES) solver is validated for a pipe flow test case and then applied to the chute rim seal rotor/stator cavity. LES, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and unsteady RANS (URANS) models all showed reasonable agreement with steady measurements within the disc cavity, but only the LES shows unsteadiness at a similar distinct peak frequency to that found in the experiment, at 23 times the rotational frequency. However, there are some significant differences between unsteadiness predicted and the measurements, and possible causes of these are discussed.

  • Amirante D, Sun Z, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Atkins NR. (2016) 'MODELING OF COMPRESSOR DRUM CAVITIES WITH RADIAL INFLOW'. Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2016, Seoul, South Korea: ASME Turbo Expo 2016 Power for Land, Sea and Air
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computations have been conducted to investigate the flow and heat trans-fer between two co-rotating discs with an axial throughflow of cooling air and a radial bleed introduced from the shroud. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models have been cou-pled with a thermal model of the test rig, and the predicted metal temperature compared with the thermocouple data. CFD solutions are shown to vary from a buoyancy driven regime to a forced convection regime, depending on the radial inflow rate prescribed at the shroud. At a high radial inflow rate, the computations show an excellent agreement with the measured temperatures through a transient rig condition. At a low radial inflow rate, the cavity flow is destabilized by the thermal stratification. Good qualitative agreement with the measurements is shown, although a significant over-prediction of disc temperatures is observed. This is associated with under prediction of the penetration of the axial throughflow into the cavity. The mismatch could be the result of strong sensitivity to the prescribed inlet conditions, in addition to possible shortcomings in the turbulence modeling.

  • Noor Mohamed S, Chew J, Hills NJ. (2016) 'EFFECT OF BOLTS ON FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN A ROTOR-STATOR DISC'. Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2016, Seoul, South Korea: ASME Turbo Expo 2016
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    Previous studies have indicated some differences between steady CFD predictions of flow in a rotor-stator disc cavity with rotating bolts compared to measurements. Recently time-dependent CFD simulations have revealed the unsteadiness present in the flow and have given improved agreement with measurements. In this paper unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) 3600 model CFD calculations of a rotor-stator cavity with rotor bolts were performed in order to better understand the flow and heat transfer within a disc cavity previously studied experimentally by other workers. It is shown that the rotating bolts generate unsteadiness due to wake shedding which creates time-dependent flow patterns within the cavity. At low throughflow conditions, the unsteady flow significantly increases the average disc temperature. A systematic parametric study is presented giving insight into the influence of number of bolts, mass flow rate, cavity gap ratio and the bolts-to-shroud gap ratio on the time depended flow within the cavity.

  • Pitz DB, Chew JW, Marxen O, Hills N. (2016) 'DIRECT NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF ROTATING CAVITY FLOWS USING A SPECTRAL ELEMENT-FOURIER METHOD'. ASME Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2016:, Seoul, Korea: ASME Turbo Expo 2016:
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    A high-order numerical method is employed to investigate flow in a rotor/stator cavity without heat transfer and buoyant flow in a rotor/rotor cavity. The numerical tool used employs a spectral element discretisation in two dimensions and a Fourier expansion in the remaining direction, which is periodic and corresponds to the azimuthal coordinate in cylindrical coordinates. The spectral element approximation uses a Galerkin method to discretise the governing equations, similarly to a finite element method, but employs high-order polynomials within each element to obtain spectral accuracy. A second-order, semi-implicit, stiffly stable algorithm is used for the time discretisation, and no subgrid modelling is included in the governing equations. Numerical results obtained for the rotor/stator cavity compare favourably with experimental results for Reynolds numbers up to Re1 = 106 in terms of velocities and Reynolds stresses. For the buoyancy-driven flow, the energy equation is coupled to the momentum equations via the Boussinesq approximation, which has been implemented in the code considering two different formulations. Numerical predictions of the Nusselt number obtained using the traditional Boussinesq approximation are considerably higher than available experimental data. Much better agreement is obtained when the extended Boussinesq approximation is em-ployed. It is concluded that the numerical method employed has considerable potential for further investigations of rotating cavity flows.

  • Onori M, Amirante D, Hills NJ, Chew JW. (2016) 'LES VALIDATION FOR A ROTATING CYLINDRICAL CAVITY WITH RADIAL INFLOW'. Seoul, South Korea: ASME Turbo Expo 2016
    [ Status: Accepted ]

    Abstract

    This paper describes Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) of the flow in a rotating cavity with narrow inter-disc spacing and a radial inflow introduced from the shroud. Simulations have been conducted using a compressible, unstructured, finite-volume solver, and testing different subgrid scale models. These include the standard Smagorinsky model with Van Driest damping function near the wall, the WALE model and the implicit LES procedure. Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) results, based on the Spalart-Allmaras and SST k − ω models, are also presented. LES solutions reveal a turbulent source region, a laminar oscillating core with almost zero axial and radial velocity and turbulent Ekman type boundary layers along the discs. Validations are carried out against the experimental data available from the study of Firouzian et al. [1]. It is shown that the tangential velocity and the pressure drop across the cavity are very well predicted by both RANS and LES, although significant differences are observed in the velocity profiles within the boundary layers.

  • Koli B, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Scanlon T. (2014) 'CFD INVESTIGATION OF A FLUIDIC DEVICE FOR MODULATION OF AERO-ENGINE COOLING AIR'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO: TURBINE TECHNICAL CONFERENCE AND EXPOSITION, 2014, VOL 5C, Dusseldorf, GERMANY: ASME Turbo Expo: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Amirante D, Hills NJ. (2014) 'LES OF WALL BOUNDED TURBULENT FLOWS USING UNSTRUCTURED LINEAR RECONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO: TURBINE TECHNICAL CONFERENCE AND EXPOSITION, 2014, VOL 2B, Dusseldorf, GERMANY: ASME Turbo Expo: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Montomoli F, Amirante D, Hills N, Shahpar S, Massini M. (2014) 'UNCERTAINTY QUANTIFICATION, RARE EVENTS AND MISSION OPTIMIZATION: STOCHASTIC VARIATIONS OF METAL TEMPERATURE DURING A TRANSIENT'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO: TURBINE TECHNICAL CONFERENCE AND EXPOSITION, 2014, VOL 5C, Dusseldorf, GERMANY: ASME Turbo Expo: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Javiya U, Chew J, Hills N, Scanlon T. (2011) 'A comparative study of cascade vanes and drilled nozzle designs for pre-swirl'. ASME Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo, ASME Turbo Expo 2011 5 (PARTS A AND B), pp. 913-920.

    Abstract

    Design of pre-swirl systems is important for the secondary air cooling system of gas turbine engines. In this paper, three pre-swirl nozzles, a cascade vane and two drilled nozzles are analysed and their performances are compared. The two drilled nozzles considered are a straight drilled nozzle and an aerodynamically designed nozzle. CFD analyses are presented for stand-alone and pre-swirl system 3D sector models at engine operating conditions near to engine maximum power condition rotational Reynolds number (Re ?) up to 4.6 ! 10 . Nozzle performance is characterised by the nozzle discharge coefficient (C ), nozzle velocity coefficient (?η) and cooling air delivery temperature. Two commonly used eddy viscosity models are employed for the study, the standard κ-ε and Spalart-Allmaras models with wall functions. Both models give very similar results for C and η and are in reasonable agreement with available experimental data. Effects of nozzle or vane number and sealing flow have been analysed. The cascade vanes perform slightly better than the aerodynamically designed drilled nozzles but the final design choice will depend on other component and manufacturing costs. An elementary model is presented to separate temperature losses due to the nozzle, stator drag and sealing flow. Copyright © 2011 by Rolls-Royce plc.

  • Javiya U, Chew J, Hills N, Zhou L, Wilson M, Lock G. (2010) 'CFD ANALYSIS OF FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN A DIRECT TRANSFER PRE-SWIRL SYSTEM'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2010, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Glasgow, SCOTLAND: ASME Turbo Expo 2010, pp. 1167-1178.
  • Sun Z, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Lewis L, Mabilat C. (2010) 'COUPLED AERO-THERMO-MECHANICAL SIMULATION FOR A TURBINE DISC THROUGH A FULL TRANSIENT CYCLE'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2010, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Glasgow, SCOTLAND: ASME Turbo Expo 2010, pp. 1025-1036.
  • Amirante D, Hills NJ, Barnes CJ. (2010) 'THERMO-MECHANICAL FEA/CFD COUPLING OF AN INTERSTAGE SEAL CAVITY USING TORSIONAL SPRING ANALOGY'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2010, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Glasgow, SCOTLAND: ASME Turbo Expo 2010, pp. 1037-1049.
  • O'Mahoney T, Hills NJ, Chew J, Scanlon T. (2010) 'LARGE-EDDY SIMULATION OF RIM SEAL INGESTION'. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2010, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Glasgow, SCOTLAND: ASME Turbo Expo 2010, pp. 1155-1165.

    Abstract

    Unsteady flow dynamics in turbine rim seals are known to be complex and attempts accurately to predict the interaction of the mainstream flow with the secondary air system cooling flows using CFD with RANS turbulence models have proved difficult. In particular, published results from RANS models have overpredicted the sealing effectiveness of the rim seal, although their use in this context continues to be common. Previous authors have ascribed this discrepancy to the failure to model flow structures with a scale greater than can be captured in the small sector models typically used. This paper presents results from a series of Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) of a turbine stage including a rim seal and rim cavity for, it is believed by the authors, the first time. The simulations were run at a rotational Reynolds number Reθ = 2.2 × 106 and a main annulus axial Reynolds number Rex = 1.3 × 106 and with varying levels of coolant mass flow. Comparison is made with previously published experimental data and with unsteady RANS simulations. The LES models are shown to be in closer agreement with the experimental sealing effectiveness than the unsteady RANS simulations. The result indicates that the previous failure to predict rim seal effectiveness was due to turbulence model limitations in the turbine rim seal flow. Consideration is given to the flow structure in this region.

  • Lott PT, Hills NJ, Chew JW, Scanlon T, Shahpar S. (2009) 'HIGH PRESSURE TURBINE STAGE ENDWALL PROFILE OPTIMISATION FOR PERFORMANCE AND RIM SEAL EFFECTIVENESS'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF ASME TURBO EXPO 2009, VOL 7, PTS A AND B, Orlando, FL: 54th ASME Turbo Expo 2009, pp. 1075-1087.
  • Ciampoli F, Hills NJ, Chew JW, Scanlon T. (2008) 'UNSTEADY NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF THE FLOW IN A DIRECT TRANSFER PRE-SWIRL SYSTEM'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2008, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Berlin, GERMANY: 53rd ASME Turbo Expo 2008, pp. 1647-1655.
  • Sun Z, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Volkov KN, Barnes CJ. (2008) 'EFFICIENT FEA/CFD THERMAL COUPLING FOR ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2008, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Berlin, GERMANY: 53rd ASME Turbo Expo 2008, pp. 1505-1515.
  • Volkov KN, Hills NJ, Chew JW. (2008) 'SIMULATION OF TURBULENT FLOWS IN TURBINE BLADE PASSAGES AND DISC CAVITIES'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2008, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Berlin, GERMANY: 53rd ASME Turbo Expo 2008, pp. 1543-1554.
  • Hills NJ. (2007) 'Whole turbine CFD modelling'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2007, Vol 6, Pts A and B, Montreal, CANADA: 52nd ASME Turbo Expo 2007, pp. 817-824.
  • Chew JW, Doherty JW, Gillan M, Hills NJ. (2006) 'practical applications of automated design and optimisation techniques using CFD'. IMechE, One Birdcage Walk, London: Automated Design and Optimisation Techniques using CFD

    Abstract

    Application of design optimisation techniques using CFD to problems for turbomachinery internal air systems and motorsport will be described and discussed. Developments in these areas build on earlier work on turbomachinery blade and aircraft applications, and present new challenges. Specific examples include turbine cooling air pre-swirl nozzles, turbine rim sealing, and full track optimisation of a Champ Car. Focussing on these specific examples, issues such as choice of optimisation method, automation of mesh generation, geometry parameterisation, solution convergence, model accuracy and method robustness will be considered.

  • Boudet J, Autef VND, Chew JW, Hills NJ, Gentilhomme O. (2005) 'Numerical simulation of rim seal flows in axial turbines'. ROYAL AERONAUTICAL SOC AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, London, ENGLAND: RAeS Aerospace Aerodynamics Research Conference 109 (1098), pp. 373-383.
  • Chew JW, Ciampoli F, Hills NJ, Scanlon T. (2005) 'Pre-swirled cooling air delivery system performance'. AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2005, Vol 3 Pts A and B, Reno, NV: 50th ASME Turbo-Expo, pp. 1129-1137.
  • Guardino C, Chew JW, Hills NJ. (2004) 'Calculation of surface roughness effects on air-riding seals'. ASME-AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENG JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: 47th International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition 126 (1), pp. 75-82.
  • Gentilhomme O, Hills NJ, Turner A, Chew J . (2003) 'Measurement and analysis of ingestion through a turbine rim seal'. JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition 125 (3), pp. 505-512.

    Abstract

    Experimental measurements from a new single stage turbine are presented. The turbine has 26 vanes and 59 rotating blades with a design point stage expansion ratio of 2.5 and vane exit Mach number of 0.96. A variable sealing flow is supplied to the disc cavity upstream of the rotor and then enters the annulus through a simple axial clearance seal situated on the hub between the stator and rotor. Measurements at the annulus hub wall just downstream of the vanes show the degree of circumferential pressure variation. Further pressure measurements in the disc cavity indicate the strength of the swirling flow in the cavity, and show the effects of mainstream gas ingestion at low sealing flows. Ingestion is further quantified through seeding of the sealing air with nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide and measurement of gas concentrations in the cavity. Interpretation of the measurements is aided by steady and unsteady computational fluid dynamics solutions, and comparison with an elementary model of ingestion.

  • Chew JW, Hills NJ, Hornsby C, Young C. (2003) 'Recent developments in application of CFD to turbomachinery internal air systems'. Proc. 5th European Turbomachinery Conference, Prague: 5th European Turbomachinery Conference (ETC5)

    Abstract

    Advances in the development and application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to gas turbine internal air systems are discussed in this paper. It is shown that the combination of parallel computation, using powerful PC clusters, with relatively robust and flexible CFD solvers is now having considerable impact in industry. At the same time research studies demonstrate that capability continues to expand. Examples are given of 3D, steady and unsteady industrial applications, with discussions of computing times on PC clusters using both ethernet and myrinet network connections. Integration of CFD into the design process is also considered. Research studies, centring on model validation and methods improvement are also illustrated and discussed, with inclusion of very recent work using a 32 processor cluster with fast myrinet networking.

  • Hills NJ, Chew JW, Turner AB. (2002) 'Computational and mathematical modeling of turbine rim seal ingestion'. ASME-AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENG JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: 46th International Congress and Exhibition on Gas Turbines and Aeroengines 124 (2), pp. 306-315.

Theses and dissertations

  • Misev C. (2018) Development and optimisation of an implicit CFD solver in hydra..
    [ Status: Approved ]

    Abstract

    One of the key research topics in the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) community is to improve the convergence speed of time-stepping schemes in steady-state finite volume codes. This thesis focuses on the improvements of an implicit time stepping scheme suitable for the fast convergence of a residual which is discretised for a second order accuracy in space. The optimised implicit scheme replaces an explicit scheme implementation in the Rolls-Royce corporate CFD code Hydra. This replacement of the explicit scheme by an implicit scheme is motivated by Swanson et al. [1], reporting a net computational speedup of the scheme of a factor 4 − 10. The novelties presented in this work build on the implicit Runge-Kutta time stepping scheme described by Rossow [2] and enhanced by Swanson et al. [1, 3] and focus on two key aspects: The optimisation of Runge-Kutta coefficients and adequate implicit preconditioning. With regards to the Runge-Kutta coefficients optimisation, the flow conditions leading to slow convergence are first analysed. Based on this analysis, an optimisation procedure is proposed to find an optimal set of Runge-Kutta coefficients. With regards to the improvement of the implicit preconditioner, most notably a novel design of its viscous components is proposed. This novel design of the viscous preconditioner is shown to enhance the convergence reliability of the code on skewed meshes. Compared to the explicit implementation, the implicit code typically achieves a minimum six-fold speedup in terms of computation time on a well defined set of test cases. Compared to the latest coefficients reported in literature [3], the optimised Runge-Kutta coefficients lead to a speedup of 20% − 38%.

Teaching

ENGM178 Computational Fluid Dynamics (Autumn 2009)

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