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Heat Transfer Engineering

ISSN: 0145-7632 (Print) 1521-0537 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/uhte20

Scale Effect on Gaseous Flow around a MicroScaled Gas Turbine Blade


Toru Yamada & Yutaka Asako
To cite this article: Toru Yamada & Yutaka Asako (2007) Scale Effect on Gaseous Flow
around a Micro-Scaled Gas Turbine Blade, Heat Transfer Engineering, 28:8-9, 696-703, DOI:
10.1080/01457630701326357
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01457630701326357

Published online: 05 Oct 2011.

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Date: 17 September 2016, At: 07:08

Heat Transfer Engineering, 28(89):696703, 2007


C Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
Copyright 
ISSN: 0145-7632 print / 1521-0537 online
DOI: 10.1080/01457630701326357

Scale Effect on Gaseous Flow around


a Micro-Scaled Gas Turbine Blade
TORU YAMADA AND YUTAKA ASAKO
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan

Two-dimensional compressible momentum and energy equations are solved on gaseous flows around a micro-scaled gas
turbine blade (GE-E3 ) for which the axial chord length ranges from 86.1 m to 86.1 mm to obtain the scale effect. The
numerical methodology is based on Arbitrary-Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) method. The flow is assumed to be no heat
conduction flow. The computations were performed for gaseous flow around a single blade with periodical conditions
imposed along the boundaries in the pitch directions. The study is focused on the effect of the scale of the turbine blade on
the performance. The predicted pressure distribution on both the pressure and suction sides of the conventional sized blade
and both the inlet and outlet Mach numbers were compared with available experimental data to verify the code, and the scale
effect was discussed.

INTRODUCTION
Recent MEMS fabrication technology is progressing very
rapidly, and many devices are fabricated smaller every year.
Much research on micro-scaled machines, such as micro-air vehicles and autonomous robots, is in the process of assembling
these micro-devises (e.g., sensors and actuators). However, these
micro-scaled machines need a high-density power sourcethe
power of a Li-ion battery, which is the power source used for
almost all laptop PCs and cell phones, is inadequate for those
micro-scaled machines. Therefore, a new power source with a
high power density is required.
A micro-scaled engine using fossil fuels or hydrogen is one
of the candidates for a high-density power source. This is because the power density of those engines is 2030 times higher
than that of a Li-ion battery in air. In addition, it is easy and
fast to fill the fuel tank. Because of those advantages, the development of a micro-scaled reciprocating engine, steam turbine
engine, and gas turbine engine is in progress.
The first micro-scaled gas turbine generator has been developed by Epstein et al. [1], and it is under further development by
Kang et al. [2], Peirs et al. [3] and Kang et al. [4]. Many technical
hurdles remain in the design of the micro-scaled gas turbine engine. For example, refinements in the bearings and combustion
chambers are important to realize high performance.
Address correspondence to Professor Yutaka Asako, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji,
Tokyo 192-0397, Japan. E-mail: asako@ecomp.metro-u.ac.jp

The design of the turbine blade is also important. Mehra [5]


and Kamatsuchi et al. [6] investigated the gaseous flow in the
rotor of micro-scaled gas turbine by CFD, the rotor of which is a
few millimeters in size. However, the authors failed to find any
previous study on gaseous flow around a sub-millimeter blade.
This is the motivation of the present study. It is expected that
the optimum geometry of micro-scaled gas turbine blade differs
from that of conventional gas turbine engines if the rotor size
is on an order of hundreds micron-meter or smaller because the
viscosity affects the flow around the blade.

FORMULATION
The problem to be considered in this study is depicted
schematically in Figure 1. The blades are aligned infinitely in
the vertical direction. The solution domain with the assumption
of a periodic boundary condition, to which a blade is confined,
is shaded in Figure 1a. The computational domain is almost the
same as that used by Mumic [7]. The blades have a constant axial
chord length from 86.1 m to 86.1 mm. The domain is inclined
32 degrees, which is the inlet flow angle to x-direction at upper
stream of the leading edge, and is also inclined 65.7 degrees,
which is the exit flow angle to x-direction of the trailing edge.
The inlet of the solution domain is placed at one axial chord
length upstream from the leading edge, and the outlet of the domain is placed at 1.8 axial chord lengths downstream from the
trailing edge. A chamber at the stagnation temperature Tstg , and
the stagnation pressure Pstg is attached to its upstream section

696

T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

697





u v
p
2 v 2 v
uv vv
+ 2 +
+
= +
+
x
y
y
x2
y
3 y x y
(3)
The energy equation for no heat conduction flow condition
can be expressed as


ui
vi
u v
+
= P
+
+
(4)
x
y
x y
where



= 2

+

u
x

2
+

u v
+
y x

v
y

2 

u v
+
x y

2

2
(5)

As can be seen in Eq. (4), heat conduction terms are neglected


for the case of the no heat conduction flow.
The equation of the state for the ideal gas is expressed by
i=

1 P
R
=
T
1
1

(6)

Note that the governing equations considered are identical


with ones for gaseous flow around a conventional sized blade.
Attention will now be focused on the calculation of the Mach
number, which will be defined as
Ma = 

V
( 1)i

(7)

V is the average velocity obtained from each velocity components, and and i are the average density and specific internal
energy at a cross-section.
 
1
V=
u2 + v2 dA,
A



1 P
1
= udA
udA, P =
PdA, i =
A
1
(8)

Figure 1 Schematic diagram of a problem: (a) computation domain and (b)


grid alignment.

of the solution domain, as shown in Figure 1a. As a preliminary


study, the flow is assumed steady, two-dimensional and laminar. The fluid is assumed to be an ideal gas with a specific heat
ratio of = 1.4 and a gas constant of R = 287 J/(kg K). The
governing equations can be expressed as
u v
+
=0
x
y


(1)


uu uv

p
2 u 2 u
+
= +
+ 2 +
2
x
y
x
x
y
3 x

u v
+
x y
(2)

heat transfer engineering

BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
With the assumptions of no-slip boundary condition; uniform inlet velocity, pressure, and density; and specific internal
energy and specified pressure, Pout , at the outlet, the boundary
conditions can be expressed as follows:
u=v=0
u = uin , v = vin , P = Pin ,
= in , i = iin
at the outlet :
P = Pout
on upper and lower boundaries : ulow = uup , vlow = vup (9)
on the turbine blade :
at the inlet :

vol. 28 nos. 89 2007

698

T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

The velocity, pressure, and density at the inlet of the flow


field are obtained by the stagnation treatment given by Karki
[8]. The stagnation pressure can be expressed in times of the
inlet pressure, velocity, and specific internal energy as follows:

 / 1

1 u2in + v2in
Pstg = Pin 1 +
(10)
2
iin

= X X Y Y
= X2 + Y2
J = X Y X Y

(14)

The number of cells in -direction was 310, and that in direction was 40.

Also, from the ideal gas law, the relationship for pressure and
density between stagnation and inlet point can be expressed as
Pstg
Pin
=
stg
in

(11)

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

The static pressure at the inlet can be obtained from a linear


extrapolation from the interior of the computational domain. By
substituting the extrapolated pressure and the stagnation pressure into Eq. (11), the inlet density is obtained. Upon using the
equation of state, the specific internal energy at the inlet can be
found. Finally, the inlet velocity can be determined by substituting these values into Eq. (10). The procedure is repeated until
convergence is achieved.

The computation was performed for two blades with the axial
chord length, 86.1 mm and 86.1 m. First of all, the computational data for conventional scaled blade was compared with
available experimental data to verify the code. Then the scale effect was discussed. Although the governing parameters of compressible flow are the Reynolds number and Mach number, it is
impossible to reduce the scale of the flow field without changing
both of them. Therefore, the flows around blades having different
size were investigated under the identical pressure ratio.

NUMERICAL SOLUTIONS

Comparison with Experimental Data

The numerical methodology is based on the ArbitraryLagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) method developed by Amsden et al.
[9]. The detailed description of the ALE method is documented
in the literature and will not be given here.

Kwak and Han [12,13] measured the pressure distribution on


the turbine blade of GE-E3 whose the axial chord length was
Cx = 86.1 mm. Then, the present computational result for Cx =
86.1 mm was compared with their data to verify the computational code. In their study, measurements were performed on a
five-bladed linear cascade in a stationary blow-down facility. In
the facility, a turbulence-generating grid was placed 26.7 cm upstream of the center blade. Therefore, it is expected that the flow
was turbulent from the inlet. The blade was a two-dimensional
model of the first stage gas turbine rotor blade with a profile of
a GE-E3 aircraft gas turbine engine rotor blade. The total turning angle of the blade was 97.7 , and the inlet and outlet angles
were 32 and 65.7 . The inlet total pressure (Pt ) was 126.9 kPa,
and the outlet static pressure (Pout ) was 102.7 kPa, which gave
an overall pressure ratio (Pt /Pout ) of 1.23. The measured inlet
and outlet Mach numbers were 0.25 and 0.59, respectively. The
computations were performed for the blade of Cx = 86.1 mm.
The stagnation pressure and temperature were fixed at Pstg =
126.9 kPa and Tstg = 300 K, respectively, and the outlet static
pressure was also fixed at Pout = 102.7 kPa. These values completely coincided with the experimental values.
The inlet total pressure and the local static pressure ratios
around the blade (Pt /P) are plotted as a function of x in Figure 2.
As shown, Pt /P of computational value on the blade of the pressure side agrees well with the experimental value. However,
some discrepancies are observed for the Pt /P value on the blade
of the suction side. The maximum difference of Pt /P is about
7%.
The Mach numbers at the inlet and outlet of the experiment
and the computation for Cx = 86.1 mm are tabulated in Table 1.

Grid Generation
The grid generation by Nozaki et al. [10] and Thompson et al.
[11] is adopted. The grid generation was performed by two ways,
as shown in Figure 1b. In Domain 1, the line of constant lies
normal to the blade surface. At the outlet boundary, however, the
line of constant coincides with the line of constant X. Grids
in Domain 2 are obtained solving inverse Poisson transform
equation. These are shown as follows.
Poisson equations are expressed as
XX + YY = P (, )
XX + YY = Q (, )

(12)

where (,) represents the coordinates for the grid generation


and P(,) and Q(,) control the spacing of the interior. The
inverse Poisson transforms are expressed as
X 2X

+ X = J2 (PX + QX )

Y 2Y

+ Y = J2 (PY + QY )

(13)

where
= X2 + Y2
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vol. 28 nos. 89 2007

T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

699

Figure 2 Pressure distribution around the blade for verification of the computational code.

The calculated inlet Mach number coincides with the experimental data; however, the calculated outlet Mach number is
slightly lower than that of the experimental data. Both results
qualitatively agree well.
Local Reynolds Number
The local Reynolds number is defined by
Re =

VL

Figure 3 Local Reynolds number based on the distance from leading edge
along the blade surface: (a) Cx = 86.1 mm and (b) Cx = 86.1 m.

(15)

where V and are the velocity and density on the upper boundary
of the computation domain, respectively, and L is the distance
from the leading edge of the blade along the surface. The local
Reynolds number is plotted as a function of L in Figures 3a and
3b.
Figure 3a is the result for Cx = 86.1 mm, and Figure 3b
is the result for Cx = 86.1 m. In Figure 3a, it is observed
that Re increases monotonically. At L/Lt = 0.3 (corresponding
to x/Cx = 0.38), Re exceeds 3.0 105 , which is the critical
Reynolds number of the turbulent flow on a flat plate. Therefore,
it seems that the flow is turbulent after the region of L/Lt = 0.3,
and it makes the discrepancy of pressure distribution between
the computation and the experiment. Figure 3b shows the result
for Cx = 86.1 m. The tendency is similar to for Cx = 86.1 mm.
The order of Re is 102 everywhere on the blade surface, which is
far below the critical Reynolds number of 3.0 105 . This means
that the flow around the blade of Cx = 86.1 m is laminar.
Table 1 Inlet and outlet Mach number for verification of the computational
code

Experiment (Kwak and Han [12,13])


Computation (Cx = 86.1 mm)

Inlet

Outlet

0.25
0.24

0.59
0.51

heat transfer engineering

Mach Number
The contour plots of Mach number for the flow around the
blade are presented in Figure 4, the axial chords of which are
86.1 mm and 86.1 m. Figure 4a is the result for Cx = 86.1 mm,
and Figure 4b is the result for Cx = 86.1 m. It is observed
in Figures 4a and 4b that the Mach number in the suction side
of the blade is higher than that in the pressure side for both
cases. However, the Mach number of Cx = 86.1 m is lower
than that of Cx = 86.1 mm in the whole region. This tendency
is accentuated near the suction side of the blade. Furthermore,
there exists the band area from the trailing edge to the outlet
where the Mach number is extremely low in the case of Cx =
86.1 m. This fact indicates that the inlet and outlet angles are
not suitable for the case of Cx = 86.1 m.

Temperature
The contour plots of temperature around the blade are presented in Figures 5a and 5b. Figure 5a is the result for Cx =
86.1 mm, and Figure 5b is the result for Cx = 86.1 m. The
temperature in the pressure side is higher than that in the suction
side in both cases. In the case of Cx = 86.1 m, the temperature
near the blade surface is high. There exists the band area from the
vol. 28 nos. 89 2007

700

Figure 4
86.1 m.

T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

Contour plots of Mach number: (a) Cx = 86.1 mm and (b) Cx =


Figure 5
86.1 m.

blade surface of the suction side to the outlet where the temperature is high. This area corresponds to the area where the Mach
number is low, which is due to the kinetic energy conversion
into the internal energy.

Velocity Vector
The velocity vectors around the blade are plotted in Figures 6
and 7. Figure 6 shows the result for Cx = 86.1 mm, and Figure 7
heat transfer engineering

Contour plots of temperature: (a) Cx = 86.1 mm and (b) Cx =

shows the result for Cx = 86.1 m. The velocity vectors near


the leading edge are shown in Figures 6b and 7b. The reference
arrows in Figures 6a and 7a indicate 200 m/s, and the reference
arrows in Figures 6b and 7b indicate 100 m/s. As can be seen in
Figure 6a, the flow passes through the blades smoothly. However, the flow changes its flow direction by the reaction of the
lifting force. It is observed in Figure 6b that the thickness of
the boundary layer is very thin for the case of Cx = 86.1 mm.
However, it is observed in Figure 7b that the velocity near the
vol. 28 nos. 89 2007

T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

701

Figure 7 Velocity vector (Cx = 86.1 m): (a) whole region, and (b) near
leading edge.

Figure 6 Velocity vector (Cx = 86.1 mm): (a) whole region, and (b) near
leading edge.

blade surface is low because of the viscosity, and the boundary


layer becomes thick.
Scale Effect
The inlet total pressure and the local static pressure ratios
around the blade (Pt /P) are plotted as a function of x in Figure
8. Those are the computational results for Cx = 86.1 mm and
heat transfer engineering

Cx = 86.1 m. As seen in Figure 8, Pt /P of Cx = 86.1 m is


lower than that of Cx = 86.1 mm. The difference is observed in
the range of x/Cx = 00.7, and the maximum difference is 7%.
The Mach numbers at the inlet and outlet of Cx = 86.1 mm
and Cx = 86.1 m are tabulated in Table 2. For comparison
with the computational data of difference size of the blade, it is
observed that the inlet and outlet Mach numbers of Cx = 86.1 m
are lower than that of Cx = 86.1 mm. The difference at the inlet
is 17%, and that at the outlet is 18%. On the other hand, the
Reynolds number based on axial chord length and exit velocity
is 1.0 106 in the case of Cx = 86.1 mm and 0.9 103 in the
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T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

NOMENCLATURE
Cx
i
L
Lt

Figure 8 Pressure distribution around the blade: computation of Cx = 86.1


mm and Cx = 86.1 m.

axial chord length, m


specific internal energy, Jkg1
distance from leading edge along the blade surface, m
distance between the leading edge and trailing edge along
the blade surface, m
Ma Mach number
P
static pressure around the blade, Pa
Pt
inlet total pressure, Pa
R
gas constant, J(kg K)1
Re
local Reynolds number
T
static temperature, K
u,v
velocity components, ms1
V
velocity obtained from u and v, ms1
x
axial distance from leading edge, m
X, Y cartesian coordinates, m
Greek Symbols

case of Cx = 86.1 m. The scale effect mainly appears in the


Reynolds number. It is well known that the smaller Reynolds
number is, the thicker the boundary layer thickness becomes.
This mainly causes the difference of the flow between the two
sizes of the blade.

Two-dimensional compressible momentum and energy equations are solved for a conventional and micro-scaled turbine
blade. The computations were performed for no heat conduction flow. In the flow around the micro-scaled blade, the effect
of viscosity becomes large, especially at the suction side. The
effect is as follows:
In the case of Cx = 86.1 m, there exists the band area from
the trailing edge to the outlet where Mach number is extremely
low.
In the case of Cx = 86.1 m, there exists the band area from the
surface of the suction side to the outlet where the temperature
is high.
The pressure ratio Pt /P on the suction side in the case of Cx =
86.1 m is lower than that of Cx = 86.1 mm.
The velocity near the blade surface is low because of the viscosity and the boundary layer become thick in the case of
Cx = 86.1 m.

Table 2 Inlet and outlet Mach number(Computation of Cx = 86.1 mm and


Cx = 86.1 m)
Inlet

Outlet

0.24
0.20

0.51
0.45

heat transfer engineering

density, gm3
specific heat ratio

Subscripts
in
out
stg

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Computation (Cx = 86.1 mm)


Computation (Cx = 86.1 m)

inlet value
outlet value
stagnation value

REFERENCES
[1] Epstein, A. H., Senturia, S. D., Al-Midani, O., Anathasuresh,
G., Ayon, A., Breuer, K., Chen, K.-S., Ehrich, F. E., Esteve, E.,
Frechette, L., Gauba, G., Ghodssi, R., Groshenry, C., Jacobson,
S., Kerrebrock, J. L., Lang, J. H., Lin, C.-C., London, A., Lopata,
J., Mehra, A., Mur Miranda, J. O., Nagle, S., Orr, D. J., Piekos, E.,
Schmidt, M. A., Shirley, G., Spearing, S. M., Tan, C. S., Tzeng,
Y.-S., and Waitz, I. A., Micro-Heat Engines, Gas Turbines, and
Rocket EnginesThe MIT Micro Engine Project, 28 th AIAA
Fluid Dynamics Conference, Snowmass Village, 1997.
[2] Kang, S., Johnston, J. P., Arima, T., Matsunaga, M., Tsuru,
H., and Prinz, F. B., Micro-Scale Radial-Flow Compressor Impeller Made of Silicon NitrideManufacturing and Performance,
ASME GT2003-38933, pp. 16, 2003.
[3] Peirs, J., Reynaerts, D., and Verplaesten, F., A Microturbine for
Electric Power Generation, Sensors and Actuator, vol. A113, pp.
8693, 2004.
[4] Kang, P., Tanaka, S., and Esashi, M., Demonstration of MEMSBased Turbocharger on a Single Rotor, Journal of Micromechanics
and Microengineering, vol.15, pp. 10761087, 2005.
[5] Mehra, A., Computational Investigation and Design of Low
Reynolds Number Micro-Turbomachinery, M.S. Thesis, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronauts, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.,
1997.
[6] Kamatsuchi, T., Nakahashi, K., Katoh, T., Tanaka, K., and Esashi,
M., Numerical Simulation of Micro-Fabrication Turbine Flows,

vol. 28 nos. 89 2007

T. YAMADA AND Y. ASAKO

[7]

[8]

[9]

[10]

[11]

[12]

Proc. 31th JSASS Annual Meetings, Tokyo, pp. 246249, 2000 (in
Japanese).
Mumic, F., Computational Analysis of Heat Transfer and Fluid
Flow in the Gap between a Turbine Blade Tip and the Casing,
Licentiate Thesis, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund, Sweden,
p. 20, 2004.
Karki, K. C., A Calculation Procedure for Viscous Flows at All
Speeds in Complex Geometries, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota, 1986.
Amsden, A. A., Ruppel, H. M., and Hirt, C. W., SALE: A Simplified ALE Computer Program for Fluid Flow at All Speeds, Los
Alamos Scientific Laboratory Report, No. LA-8095, Los Alamos
NY, 1980.
Nozaki, O., Hirose, N., Kawai, N., and Tamura, A., Numerical
Analysis of Cascade Flow Solving Navier-Stokes Equation, Proc.
4th NAL Symposium on Aircraft Computational Aerodynamics,
National Aerospace Laboratory, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 7175, 1986
(in Japanese).
Thompson, J. F., Warsi, Z. U. A., and Mastin, C. W., Numerical
Grid Generation Foundations and Applications, Elsevier Science
Publishing Co., New York, 1985.
Kwak, J. S., and Han, J., Heat Transfer Coefficient on the Squealer
Tip and Near Squealer Tip Regions of a Gas Turbine Blade, ASME
IMECE2002-32109, pp. 14, 2002.

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703

[13] Kwak J. S., and Han, J., Heat Transfer Coefficient on the Squealer
Tip and Near Squealer Tip Regions of a Gas Turbine Blade, ASME
J. Heat Transfer, vol. 125, pp. 669671, 2003.
Toru Yamada is an M.S. student in the Department
of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan. He received his B.S. degree from the
same university in 2005. Currently, he is working on
gaseous flow around a micro-scaled gas turbine blade
with CFD toward an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering.

Yutaka Asako is currently a professor of mechanical


engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan.
He received his Ph.D. in 1982 from Tokyo Metropolitan University. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at
the University of Minnesota. He has written more than
100 journal articles and book chapters in the area of
fluid mechanics and heat transfer with an application
to heat exchanger and electronics cooling. His current
interests are toward the areas of heat transfer and fluid
mechanics in micro-systems.

vol. 28 nos. 89 2007