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Monitoring of Aerodynamic Load

H. Hbnen
and Detection of Stall in
Multistage Axial Compressors
H. E. Gallus
The unsteady flow in a single-stage axial flow compressor at different operating
Institut fur Strahlantriebe und conditions has been investigated with hot-wire and hot-film probes to find out the
Turboarbeitsmaschinen, influence of the aerodynamic compressor load on the periodic fluctuations. These
Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische results are compared with measurements in the last stages of a multistage high-
Hochschule Aachen, pressure compressor of a gas turbinefor normal operation and under stall conditions.
Aachen, Federal Republic of Germany From the patterns of the frequency spectra of the measuring signals a parameter
for the detection of the approach to the stability line of a compressor is derived. A
method for the on-line monitoring of the aerodynamic load is presented. Based on
these results a monitoring system has been developed. First experiences with this
system, applied to two multistage compressors, are reported.

The trend to higher power densities and the wish for in- All these investigations demonstrate the success in detection
creasing efficiencies in turbomachines requires an operation of stall in axial compressors. Nevertheless, the prediction of
with decreasing distance to the stability line of a compressor. the stability limit, especially in multistage compressors is still
Therefore the knowledge of this limit is the basis for an optimal an urgent problem that has to be solved.
With the progress in the application of measuring techniques Measurements in a Single-Stage Research Compressor
for unsteady flows, various investigations on the topic of de-
tection and prediction of rotating stall have been made. Most Stator
of them were carried out in research compressors with labo- Fundamental investigations were provided in a one-stage
ratory techniques. These investigations give a basis for the subsonic axial flow compressor with a hub-to-tip ratio of 0.38.
understanding of the flow effects near the stability line of a The rotor speed was variable and the flow rate could be changed
compressor. by a throttling valve system at the compressor outlet. Further
Detailed measurements in axial compressors with arrays of constructional details of the compressor can be found from
hot-wire sensors illustrate the phenomena at the inception of Gallus et al. (1979).
rotating stall (Day, 1993; Poensgen, 1991). The changes in The experiments at different aerodynamic blade loads were
unsteady flow field are evident and point to a possibility to carried out with hot-wire probes and hot-film glue-on probes.
use these effects for the prediction of compressor stability line. The hot-wire probes were traversed inside the stator between
Paduano et al. (1993) presented a system for the active con- two stator blades from the hub to the casing. For a highly
trol of rotating stall. With an array of hot-wire sensors the loaded operating point of the compressor the position and
unsteady flow field was measured over the circumference. The extension of the corner stall derived from measurements with
detection of rotating waves of axial velocity indicated the in- different measuring techniques (Gallus and Honen, 1986) is
ception of rotating stall. Rotating waves of velocities and static shown in Fig. 1. A hot-wire probe traversed near the suction
wall pressure were also observed by Gamier et al. (1991) as side trailing edge of the vanes measures undisturbed flow in
an indicator for stall inception. the upper part of the blade channel. In the lower part the probe
Gallus and Honen (1986) showed that in regions of separated is positioned inside the separation zone.
flow all periodic fluctuations are damped and covered by in- The distributions of the real time signals for these two regions
creased noise caused by random fluctuations. Inoue et al. (1991) and the corresponding frequency spectra show the influence
investigated the flow in two isolated axial flow compressor of separated flows onto the periodic fluctuations (Fig. 2). In
rotors near stall. He showed that the collapse of the periodic the frequency spectrum for undisturbed flow the peaks for the
fluctuations caused by a large stall region is an indicator for rotor blade frequency and the first harmonic causes by the
the approach to the stability line of a compressor. rotor wakes passing the stator can be detected. For the meas-
urements in the separated region the signal shows only strong
random fluctuations. In the frequency spectrum for this case
only a high noise level without periodic parts can be observed.
Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute and presented at the In the midspan of one stator blade on the suction side a hot-
38th International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition, Cin-
cinnati, Ohio, May 24-27, 1993. Manuscript received at ASME Headquarters film glue-on probe with 11 sensors was mounted (Fig. 3). For
February 12, 1993. Paper No. 93-GT-20. Associate Technical Editor: H. Lukas. two different operating points (<p = 0.73 and <p = 0.63) of

Journal of Turbomachinery JANUARY 1995, Vol. 117/81

Copyright © 1995 by ASME

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f, =0.73

r =150 mm

tfi = C m / U 2
Fig. 3 Measuring blade with hot-film glue-on probes

technique the same effects can be observed as in the meas-

urements with hot-wire probes. All sensors outside the sepa-
ration region detect the periodic fluctuations from the rotor
wakes. The sensors inside the separated regions only detect
high random fluctuations. This is also visible in the frequency
spectra. For the operating point <p = 0.73 the peak for rotor
Fig. 1 Corner stall region in the single-stage axial compressor blade frequency occurs at all sensors, whereas for the highly
loaded operating point of the compressor (<p = 0.63) only the
first two sensors (outside the separation region) show periodic
fluctuations with rotor blade frequency.
These results demonstrate that the concentration of low-
energy material, as it occurs in a separation region, damps the
periodic information from the undisturbed flow regions caused
by the random fluctuations in cross and back flow direction.
Furthermore, these fluctuations increase the noise level in the
frequency spectra so that here small peaks from remaining
periodic information are superposed. Therefore, measure-
ments with dynamic sensors are an easy way to detect regions
with low-energy material in turbomachines.
Measurements in a Multistage Compressor
Measurements in a multistage axial compressor of a LM5000
gas turbine validate and utilize this phenomenon. For a long-
term investigation of the unsteady pressure distribution in eight
stages of the 14-stage high-pressure compressor piezoelectric
pressure transducers were mounted in the casing between rotor
and stator. The transducers were connected to a FFT-analyzer
via a multiplexer (MUX) and to a multichannel magnetic tape
Fig. 2 Measuring results from a hot-wire probe for different radii recorder (Fig. 5).
The measuring equipment was automatically controlled by
the compressor the separation lines on the surface are drawn. a PC computer, which also-picked up the measuring data from
In the case of a flow rate of <p = 0.63 all sensors besides two the FFT analyzer. Within an endless loop the computer switched
are located inside the separation region. In the other case the the transducer signals to the FFT analyzer one after the other
measuring radius of the sensors is above the separation zone. and started the FFT calculation. The frequency spectra were
The real time measuring signals and the corresponding fre- downloaded from the analyzer to the computer. For the def-
quency spectra are presented in Fig. 4. With this measuring inition of the operating point the thermodynamic data from

VSV = variable stator vanes
pfre = mean value of frequency x = coordinate in chord direction
a = weighting coefficient spectrum <p = flow rate
ADC = analog-to-digital converter PS = pressure side
c = velocity pval = calculated fluctuating Subscripts
c = chord length coefficient amp amplitude
/ = frequency r = radius m meridional
HPC = high-pressure compressor SL = stall level 1 compressor inlet
n = rotational speed SP = signal processor 2 = compressor outlet
p = pressure SS = suction side 11 = 11th stage
pfre = frequency amplitude of pres- t = time 12 12th stage
sure fluctuations u = circumferential velocity 13 = 13 th stage

8 2 / V o l . 117, JANUARY 1995 Transactions of the ASME

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RHC Spa**™, K m l A
00 Uart: O.OOOOOEtOOJ] ( Kwal 1 ]
1/0=0.54 MOHE <= •

f (3) POJJP « :>

f (/) Oura <- 1

* x*c -0.58

;tyy(**»V M Sv***! «/c -0.B6


Tt Curs 1 ->
r i Hartfcopy
F2 Plotter

l*Wv>i**f*^*<iml i e . 0 . 7
:•l»H^(wv^^ | ^^ n/t-0.74 frequeni
naa_i :
;VM*^VVN*^*VV!; l i e . 0 . 7 8 0.0 S.02844E-03

HUE_Zu63.rrT Trigger 0 -1/16

;!MvWf>/,wV^V,txlc -° Fig. 6 Frequency spectrum in the third stage for compressor operation
near design point
0.005 ' - i - J

Fig. 4(a) Real time signals and frequency spectra lor a moderately 30
loaded operating point (^ = 0.73)



I I I t . , -M t * I

140 160 180 200

Fig. 7 Pressure ratio of the H PC for a period of three days before turbine
shut down

the controlling computer of the gas turbine (host computer)

were received.
Changing operating conditions of the compressor influence
the unsteady flow field in a blading that can be detected by
the casing-mounted dynamic pressure sensors. The frequency
spectra of these measured real time signals show different
patterns. This effect was used for the automatic long-term
investigation of this compressor.
After the start of the gas turbine, the first frequency spectra
0.005 t [s] 0 5 f[kHi] of each sensor signal were stored as a reference pattern. When
during operation differences occurred that exceeded a defined
Fig. 4(b) Real time signals and frequency spectra for a highly loaded range, the magnetic tape was started by the computer and
operating point (<p = 0.63)
picked up the real time signals of all sensors. At the same time
the current frequency spectra were stored as new reference
patterns. By this procedure all changes in the unsteady flow
field in the stages could be observed and saved.
For normal compressor operation the frequency spectrum
of each stage sensor shows the peak for rotor blade frequency
FFT- of this stage (Fig. 6). But also the characteristic frequencies
analyzer of the neighboring stages are visible (marked with numbers
for the several stages). The decrease of the fluctuating ampli-

PC computer
tudes at higher frequencies is caused by the damping of the
MUX adapters in which the pressure sensors were mounted.
T The investigations were carried out over a time period of
CE=£ \ tape
recorder host
about four months at nearly constant operating conditions of
8 amplifiers the gas turbine. Figure 7 shows the pressure ratio of the com-
pressor for a period of three days just around the occurrence
of stall. The Xaxis shows the absolute number of measurement
and the Y axis the pressure ratio of the whole compressure (p2
= outlet pressure, p\ = inlet pressure). At the end of this
period a strong increase caused by a fault of the controlling
system occurred. At the maximum pressure the surge control
of the compressor became active and the gas turbine was shut
Fig. 5 Experimental setup for long-term measurements down.

Journal of Turbomachinery JANUARY 1995, Vol. 117/83

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f i l l , 12,13)
11th stage
11th stage

'.00E-O3 _| 1 1 1 1 1 _, 1 , ,_



13th stage 1 3 t h stage

Fig. 8(a) Frequency spectra of the 11th and 13th stages for normal
compressor operation
Fig. 8(c) Frequency spectra of the 11th and 13th stages just after gas
1.O0E4OO turbine shutdown

stability line. The spectra during these operating conditions
L 1 f(8> / f(11,12.13) show different patterns in the 11th and 13th stages (Fig. 8b).
III h n7Ki / Whereas the periodic fluctuations in the 13th stage disap-
peared, in the 11th stage an increase of the characteristic fre-

VAJ 1/ 1 1 t h stage quency peak can be observed due to increased profile loads

1.00E-03 . ~
- ^ yw K
— i — i — i — i — i — i — i — i — i —
and wakes.
Caused by the high pressure ratio of the compressor, the
aerodynamic load of the 13th stage becomes so high, that low-
energy material from increased wakes or even separated profile
boundary layers (approaching stall) is centrifugated from the
rotor blades. It accumulates near the casing behind the rotor
and forms here a casing stall region, which reduces the pressure
rise in this stage. The pressure sensor mounted in the gap
between rotor and stator is covered by this low-momentum
material so that the information from the undisturbed flow
outside of the stall is extinguished at the measuring position
due to increased turbulence and noise.
Due to the high aerodynamic load of the compressor and
1 3 t h stage the reduced pressure rise in the last stages, the load of the
upstream stages is increased. This causes a growth of the rotor
wakes in these stages so that here the characteristic frequency
peaks increase (see Fig. &(b), 11th stage). The multistage com-
pressor runs under stable conditions although in the 13th stage
the limit for stall as it was defined for a single stage (Inoue et
al., 1991) is exceeded.
After about a further 30 minutes the compressor load entered
Fig. 8(b) Frequency spectra of the 11 th and 13th stages for compressor
operation near the stability limit
such a high level that surge occurred and the surge control
system shut down the gas turbine. As the automatic measuring
system had a cycle time of about 20 seconds from the start of
Figures 8(«-c) show the frequency spectra of the 11th and the FFT analysis from the first to the last sensor the exact
13th stage sensors for three different points of time around point of compressor surge was not recorded on the magnetic
the shut down point. The patterns for normal operating con- tape. The signals taken during this operation phase started the
ditions are demonstrated in Fig. 8(a). The peaks for the rotor recorder a few moments after this event.
blade frequency of the 11th to 13th stage with 76 rotor blades Just after the shutdown the compressor load diminishes and
each are clearly visible. Also the 9th and 10th stage peaks (60 the frequency information of several stages can be detected
rotor blades each) stand out of the noise in the spectrum. again in the 13th stage (Fig. 8c). Due to the deceleration of
Hereafter, the fault in the control system occurred and the rotor speed, the characteristic frequencies occur at lower val-
operating point of the compressor drifted slowly toward the ues.

84 / V o l . 117, JANUARY 1995 Transactions of the ASME

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SP 1 SP 2 SP 3


stall near the casing
Fig. 9 Change of amplitudes at characteristic frequencies with increas-
ing blade load
Fig. 10 Hardware setup for the on-line monitoring system

Design of an On-Line Monitoring System very small compared to the increased noise level. Due to the
Based on these results, a monitoring system for detecting lower pressure rise in this stage the loads of the upstream stages
the approach of the stability line in a multistage compressor increase. Thus the amplitudes of the characteristic frequency
has been developed. The measurements showed that the peak peaks are enlarged.
level at the characteristic frequency of a stage is an indicator After the collapse of the observed frequency peak, the value
for the aerodynamic load. Up to the point of the collapse of of pval will decrease. Thus, although the compressor load is
the periodic fluctuations, the peak amplitude grows out of the higher, a lower value for the stall level SL would be calculated
normal noise level, which also rises with increasing aerody- with Eq. (2). In order to obtain an increasing trend with higher
namic load (Fig. 9). compressor load, the calculation of this parameter has to be
This behavior can be described in the following form: switched. When in the 13th stage casing stall occurs, the max-
imum value of pval13 just before the collapse of the frequency
Pfrestage-Pfre amplitude is stored and used for the further stall level calcu-
Postage — (1) lations. The same procedure will be applied if also in the next
upstream stage casing stall damps the periodic information at
As the measuring results from the multistage compressor the sensor. When the operating conditions change back to
demonstrated, the collapse of the periodic information at the unseparated flow caused by lower aerodynamic loads, the cal-
13th stage sensor is not the limit for the stable compressor culation switches back to the former way (Eq. (2)).
operation. Therefore, additional information must be used to This algorithm was applied to the unsteady pressure meas-
define another parameter for the observation. urements of the long-term investigation (Fig. 8). It is mentioned
Measurements of unsteady wall pressures in three neigh- that in this case the stall level was only calculated with the
boring stages provide information on the stall development measuring results of the 11th and 13th stages. For the last
from the last to the upstream stages. Therefore, dynamic pres- measurements just before the shutdown (see Fig. 7) with in-
sure transducers are located in the axial gaps between rotor creasing pressure ratio of the compressor, the stall level exceeds
and stator of the 11th, 12th, and 13th stages. a value of 15. During the whole investigation period of four
In order to get an informative value for the operator or an months at normal compressor operation, values up to 10 were
operating and control system from the measuring results in calculated for the stall level.
each stage, a new parameter was defined for the monitoring This procedure of calculating a monitoring parameter for
of the compressor load. This value (called stall level SL) takes the compressor load described above was the foundation for
into account the amplitudes of the frequency peaks in the three the design of an on-line monitoring system on the basis of a
observed stages and the information about flow separation. PC computer with 80386-CPU and signal processor boards for
Since with increasing compressor load the amplitudes in the parallel signal acquisition and enhancement (Fig. 10). The un-
stages grow, this parameter can be defined in the following steady pressure signals are Fourier analyzed by the signal pro-
form: cessors. The CPU coordinates the tasks of the processors,
SL = an pvali3 + a12 pval,2 + «ii pvaln (2) calculates the stall level from the frequency spectra, and sends
the results to a host computer where the data are displayed on
wherein au, o12, and ctn are weighting coefficients for the a monitor and stored for a trend analysis.
influence of the stages on the stability limit of the compressor.
The optimal choice of these coefficients depends upon the
compressor operating conditions and geometry. They are still Experiences With the Monitoring System in Operation
the subject of further investigation and are proprietary. This system was applied to the high-pressure compressors
As previously mentioned (see Fig. 8) for the shutdown of of two gas turbines of the type LM5000. In order to get an
the compressor, the 11th stage was not yet separated at the impression of the reliability of the monitoring system, the stall
casing measuring position. Therefore, for this compressor, level is compared with the operating parameters of the com-
terms of peak values (pval) from further upstream stages were pressor measured by the normal control system of the gas
not included. For other part-load operating points the station turbines. The trends of the speed of the high-pressure rotor
of measurements and the terms of the stages to be included in and the pressure ratio of the HPC show a satisfying relation
the stall level value (SL) must be selected correspondingly. to the observed stall level (Figs. 11« and b).
When casing stall in the 13th stage occurs the periodic fluc- With increasing pressure ratio, the stall level also grows up
tuations at the sensor are damped so that the observed char- to values of about 7. After a while it decreases slowly although
acteristic peak in the frequency spectrum disappears or becomes the pressure ratio keeps constant. The comparison with the

Journal of Turbomachinery JANUARY 1995, Vol. 117/85

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09.09.1992 ( 7.00 h - 10.00 h ) 1991). The mixing of tip leakage vortex with low-momentum
material centrifuged from the rotor blades play a nonnegligible
role in the development of casing stall.
This causes different limit values of stall level with changing
geometries and operating conditions. After longer operation
time of the monitoring system more measuring data for dif-
ferent operating conditions of the compressor will be available.
With these experiences the model for the definition of the limit
value can take into account more influence parameters.

Summary and Conclusions

Based on experimental results of unsteady flow in a single
and a multistage compressor a monitoring system for stable
compressor operation has been developed. By detection of
80 120 200
aerodynamic load and casing stall in three neighboring end
time [min] stages of a multistage high-pressure compressor, the approach
Fig. 11(a) Stall level over a time period of three hours to the stability line can be observed.
09.09.1992 1 7.00 h - 10.00 h I Experiences with the monitoring system at two compressors
demonstrate the reliability of the method. Changes in com-
pressor load cause differences in calculated stall level. Addi-
njty/<\l>Y~v) pressure ratio tional measuring results from system operation will allow a
rh more exact definition of various influence parameters.
2 21
By the detection of casing stall in the end stages only a stall
monitoring near-design speed of the compressor can be realized
I* at the present state. The system will be able to obtain moni-
VSV angle
toring data for lower speeds if measurements also will be taken
in the front stages. Furthermore, additional measurements in
different compressors can help to obtain further information
about the influence of various geometries and loads.
80 120 200
time [min]
Fig. 11(6) HPC pressure ratio and VSV angle over a time priod of three The authors wish to acknowledge the DOW Stade GmbH
for the financing of the investigations leading to this research
work. Especially, we wish to thank Mr. H. Walter and Mr.
VSV angle (Fig. lib) shows the reason for this behavior. At E. Mizera for their support in preparing the experiments and
the same time when the stall level decreases, the VSV angle the helpful comments concerning the application of the mon-
moves from an open position toward 0 deg so that the air flow itoring system. The discussions about the measuring results
through the compressor decreases. This lower aerodynamic during the test phase are gratefully acknowledged. A patent
load causes the decrease in stall level. application that relates to the technology covered by this work
In order to get information about the vicinity to the stability has been filed by DOW Deutschland Inc.
line of the compressor, a limit value for the stall level has to
be defined. The results from the long-term investigation and
the experience with the monitoring system until now allow an References
estimation of this limit. The measurements and trends have TipAdamczyk, J. J., Celestina, M. L., and Greitzer, E. M., 1993, "The Role of
Clearance in High-Speed Fan Stall," ASME JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY,
shown that the 13th stage of the investigated compressor can Vol. 115, pp. 28-39.
operate stably with casing stall without the compressor ex- Day, I. J., 1993, "Stall Inception in Axial Flow Compressors," ASME JOUR-
ceeding the stability line. The stall region covers only a part NAL OF TURBOMACHINERY, Vol. 115, pp. 1-9.
of the blade height so that stable compressor operation is still action Gallus, H. E., Lambertz, J., and Wallmann, Th., 1979, "Blade-Row Inter-
in an Axial-Flow Subsonic Compressor Stage," ASME Paper No. 79-
possible. Assuming that with occurrence of casing stall also in GT-92.
the 12th stage the stall region in the 13 th stage covers a large Gallus, H. E.,andH6nen, H., 1986, "Experimental Investigations of Airfoil-
part of the span, this point would be the limit of stable com- and Endwall Boundary Layers in a Subsonic Compressor Stage," ASME Paper
pressor operation. Thus, if the maximum of pval12 is known, No. 86-GT-143.
the limit value of stall level can be calculated with Eq. (2). As as Gamier, V. H., Epstein, A. H., and Greitzer, E. M., 1991, "Rotating Waves
a Stall Inception Indication in Axial Compressors," ASME JOURNAL OF
the three observed stages have the same blade numbers and TURBOMACHINERY, Vol. 113, pp. 290-302.
geometries in each rotor and each stator row, the patterns of Inoue, M., Kuroumaru, M., Iwamoto, T., and Ando, Y., 1991, "Detection
periodic fluctuations should look quite similar. So, the max- of a Rotating Stall Precursor in Isolated Axial Flow Compressor Rotors," ASME
imum value of pvalu will be in the same range as the maximum JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY, Vol. 113, pp. 281-289.
Paduano, J. D., Epstein, A. H., Valavani, L., Longley, J. P., Greitzer, E.
of pvalo just before occurrence of casing stall in the 13th stage. M., and Guenette, G. R., 1993, "Active Control of Rotating Stall in a Low-
By inserting these values into Eq. (2) the stall limit is calculated. Speed Axial Compressor," ASME JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY, Vol. 115, pp.
The value of the stall limit is influenced by many geometric 48-56. Poensgen, Ch., 1991, "Experimentelle Untersuchung der Stromung in einer
parameters of the bladings. One important factor is the tip Unterschall-Axialverdichterstufe bei hoher Drosselung und im Rotating Stall,"
clearance of the rotor (Adamczyk et al., 1993; Inoue et al., Dissertation, RWTH Aachen, Federal Republic of Germany.

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