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Nozzle Calculation

Calculating the Flow Through a Steam Nozzle

This provides a short step by step guide to calculating the flow through a steam turbine nozzle. The nozzle parameters were used in a previous example as part of the turbine aero section of the course. The notation for the blading is given in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Notation

The example was No 6.5 and had the following operating conditions: constant axial velocity, c p=1. 1 kJ / kg K =1.33 The inlet conditions were:
' flow angle: 1=0 (we can assume 1=0 )

velocity: V 1 =150 m/ s total pressure: Exit conditions:

' metal angle: 2 =62 with straight backed blades.

p01=2 bar

total temperature: T 01=1000 K

During the exercise you calculated the exit conditions to give 2 =60 and therefore the actual exit velocity was V 2=300 m/ s in this exercise we will calculate the flow through this nozzle in two dimensions to allow those calculations to be checked.

Geometry Definition
The calculations that were conducted in the Turbine Aero part said very little about the detailed shape of the blade but we require a detailed blade profile in order to get the calculations carried out. All the blade geometry so far has done is specify an inlet and an exit angle for the blade. To completely define the geometry we need to specify how the blade shape will vary from inlet to exit. We do this using a mean line and a thickness distribution but first we need to specify an axial chord length. -1-

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Nozzle Calculation

The Zweifel coefficient (Z=0.8) enables us to pick an optimum pitch to chord ratio, i.e. tell us how many blades are required once the chord has been selected. However to start the process a chord is required. Here we pick an axial chord length of 10cm, this is somewhat arbitrary but this gives us around 34 blades on a 0.5m radius turbine which seems feasible. Rearranging the Zweifel definition gives: s= zCx 1 0.80.1 1 = =0.092 m 2 2 tan 2tan 1 cos 2 2 tan 60 tan 0 cos 2 60
' 1=0 , 2 =62

The geometry defined so far is as follows: Camber Line

s=0.092 m

C x =0.1 m

We then pick a path that the blade will follow and then superimpose a thickness distribution onto it, this path is know as a camber line. It is also sometimes called a mean. The path we choose is a parabolic equation that gives us the correct inlet and outlet angles within the required chord length. In this case a popular geometry program1 was used to generate a curve that satisfies the requirements but a number of other techniques could be used. The equation that satisfies our requirements is:
x 2 0.11 t=0


Thickness Distribution Actual blade profiles used in modern turbines are the result of extensive development and so modern blade profiles are usually kept secret. We therefore go back in time somewhat to find a profile. This profile is known as a T6 profile and is described by a thickness distribution based on the chord length it is available from a number of sources here we used Axial Flow Turbines by Horlock from 1966. The thickness distribution is shown in Table 1. In order to generate a suction and a pressure surface two curves are developed from the camber line above: x2 t pressure = thickness 0.11 t suction = x2 thickness 0.11



There may well produce blades that are a bit thin as the thickness is applied in the tangential direction only and not normal to the blade camber line but is a sufficiently good definition for our purposes. The camber line and the suction and pressure surfaces so defined are found in Figure 2

1 Geogebra available online at:


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% of chord / Thickness as Chord / [m] [1] % chord / [1] Thickness / [m]

Nozzle Calculation

0.00 0.00 0.0000 0.0000 1.25 1.17 0.0013 0.0012 2.50 1.54 0.0025 0.0015 5.00 1.99 0.0050 0.0020 7.50 2.37 0.0075 0.0024 10.00 2.74 0.0100 0.0027 15.00 3.40 0.0150 0.0034 20.00 3.95 0.0200 0.0040 30.00 4.72 0.0300 0.0047 40.00 5.00 0.0400 0.0050 50.00 4.67 0.0500 0.0047 60.00 3.70 0.0600 0.0037 70.00 2.51 0.0700 0.0025 80.00 1.42 0.0800 0.0014 90.00 0.85 0.0900 0.0009 95.00 0.72 0.0950 0.0007 100.00 0.00 0.1000 0.0000 Table 1: T6 Thickness and Dimensions for 0.1m Axial Chord



t / [m]


mean pressure suction



-0.1 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12

x / [m]

Figure 2: Camber Line, Suction and Pressure Surfaces


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Nozzle Calculation

In order to make the problem tractable in the time available, a mesh of this turbine blade has already been prepared for you. This mesh was created using icemcfd a structured mesh generator licensed from ANSYS. The process involves the following steps:

Import of x,y,z coordinates representing the blade Import of x,y,z coordinates representing the upper and lower periodic boundaries Creation of a series of blocks for that make up the parts of the mesh Manual tweaking of the blocks to generate an acceptable mesh

The final mesh is shown below:

As can be seen, near the trailing edge especially the cells have a high aspect ratio, though they are reasonably well formed near the leading edge.


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Nozzle Calculation

Computing the Flow

This step is actually much more straightforward than meshing. In CFD modelling flow most of your time will be taken meshing the problem and then analysing the results, computation is the easy bit. The files for this tutorial are found at:

Start Fluent by typing fluent at a terminal on the vega service. This pops up a window in which you can set your working directory and so on. You need to ensure that under Dimension the 2D radio button is checked. After a short while something like Figure 3 will pop up.

Figure 3: General View of Fluent 12

The key thing to note here is the box on the left hand side. This guides you through the solution set-up. The plan is to work your way through each of the categories from top to bottom (sometimes these are called Task Pages) setting variables, boundary conditions and so on as you go. There are three major headings in this box (Problem Setup, Solution and Results) with a number of subheadings. We will consider each heading in turn. Firstly however you have to read in the mesh. File Read Mesh and select your file.

Problem Setup Tab

On the General task push the Check button (this complains about the high aspect ratio cells) The Models task is where you can select the turbulence model and so on. Pick Spallart-Allmaras for the turbulence model and turn the Energy equation on. -5-

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Nozzle Calculation

Under materials select Fluid, hit Create/Edit and then use the FLUENT database to obtain water-vapour (h20). You then will want to change the density from constant to ideal gas. Under cell zone conditions you then need to tell FLUENT you wish to use the h20 you have just specified. Select Edit and then select the appropriate material. The other task pages can be left as default until you get to Boundary Conditions

Select the flow exit and change the Type to pressure outlet. Set gauge pressure to 167100 Pa (this is obtained from exercise 6.5 earlier!) Select the flow inlet and change the type to pressure inlet. Set gauge total pressure to 200000 Pa and the supersonic /initial gauge pressure to 190000 Pa. Set turbulence specification method to Intensity and Length Scale and use 1% and 0.1m.

Solution Tab

The Solution Methods and Solution Controls can be left at default values. On the Monitors task page make sure that the residuals are set to Print and Plot On the Solution Initialization task page set the X velocity to 150 m/s and hit Initalize The other task pages can be left at their default values. On the Run Calculation you can hit Check Case to learn about some helpful suggestions ignore these for now. Set the number of iterations to 1000 and press Calculate to watch the computer work for you! The problem should converge in around 50 iterations.

Results Tab

You can then view your results using the Graphics and Animations task page. Contours Set Up.. This might give you something like Figure 4 after some fiddling. A key question is do you believe the solution? (Hint: there are some serious problems with the solution using this mesh can you identify them....)


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Nozzle Calculation

Figure 4: Some Sample Contours of Velocity

You have now successfully meshed up and calculated a basic geometry. Other things you could try with the data:

Use a new mesh which doesn't have the acceleration after the trailing edge Change the residuals from their default values to much smaller ones Change the inlet angle Try out cell adaptation to deal with high aspect ratio cells near the trailing edge Grant Ingram 17 April 2012