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Lecture 1.

2
Blade Element Theory

Consider the axial and radial flow turbomachines, schematically


.
shown in Figs.
1.2.1 and 1.2.2. Let the number of blades be
small.
The passages between the blades is considered as the flow
domain. The control surfaces are shown by dotted lines in the
figures.

Fig. 1.2.1 Axial flow Turbomachine

Fig. 1.2.2 Radial flow Turbomachine


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Analogy with Isolated Airfoil


Drawing an analogy between the control surfaces around blades
of the turbomachine and the control surface of an isolated
aerofoil of Fig. 1.2.3, gives

V ds ,
s

c1

V ds ,
s

c2

V ds V ds ,
s

1 2

Fig 1.2.3. Analogy with an isolated airfoil


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In Lecture 1.1, it is noted that the circulation around the body ()


is independent of the size and shape of the contour, for the given
flow conditions of constant energy.
Apply the above analogy to an isolated element of a
turbomachinery blade as shown in Fig. 1.2.4.

Fig. 1.2.4. Isolated blade of a turbomachine

The blade may be moving with a linear speed of U. Then, Cu2


and Cu1 are the tangential components of the flow velocity at the
outlet and inlet, respectively.
The lengths AB and CD represent the blade pitches (S1 and S2)
respectively at inlet and outlet.
AD and BC are the lines dividing the flow passages between
adjacent blades.
The circulation is given by the line integral around ABCD.
Call (ABCD) as b, circulation around the isolated blade element
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The circulation around ABCD may by evaluated by summing the


individual circulations comprising the circuit, such that
B

ABCD

V ds V ds V dl V ds V dl
2

(1.2.1)

Here the circulation is positive anticlockwise.


But

V dl V dl and
B

Therefore,

V ds
A

C u 2 s,2

V ds

C u1 s1

ABCD b s 2 C u 2 s1C u1

(1.2.2)

Referring to Fig. 1.2.5., Consider the circulation around the


blade elements. The circulation about the part AEF contour is
1

AEF

VS ds

E
A

Vs ds Vs ds
F

where E denotes the line integral from E to A by way of F


F

The circulation about the contour ABDE is


2

ABDE

VS ds

B
A

Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds
E

The circulation about the contour BCD is


3

BCD

VS ds

Vs ds Vs ds
D

Fig. 1.2.5 Circulation about several blade elements


8

Thus

1 2 3

E
A

Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds
F

Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds
C

Considering that

E
A

and , these integrals in the


E

foregoing expressions will cancel out. It is therefore


1 2 3

Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds Vs ds
C

It is seen from Fig. 1.2.5 that the remaining integrations in


the last expression just cover the outer contour ABCDEF.
Their sum is therefore equal to the line integral of Vs ds along
this contour, which is the circulation o.
It follows that o 1 2 3
(1.2.3)
VS ds
ABCDEF

In other words, the circulation about a contour is equal to the


(algebraic) sum of the circulations around all parts of the region
inside that contour. The direction of circulation determines its
sign in Eq. (1.2.3), which can easily be demonstrated by
reversing in the foregoing derivation the direction of one of the
partial circulations and thereby the sign of the line integrals of
which it is composed.
The parts of the contour considered do not need to border on
each other, as assumed in the derivation, because, according to
Eq. (1.2.3) and Fig. 1.2.5, the circulation about the contour AEF
previously considered, if the shaded area between these two
contours does not contain a deflecting body and has a flow of
constant energy.
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Consider a cylindrical section AB through an axial flow runner


as shown in . Fig. 1.2.6. The circulation around every blade
element appearing in this section shall be designated by b, so
that, according to Eq. (1.2.2), the total circulation of the
developed section is
o = nbb
(1.2.4)
where nb is the number of blades
Substitution into Eq. (1.2.2) gives the circulation for the whole
impeller as

b nb ( s 2 C u 2 s1C u1 )

But, nb s1 2 r1 and nb s 2 2 r2
Therefore, b 2 ( r2 C u 2 r1C u 1 )

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Fig.1.2.6 Circulation around a number of isolated blades


12

The expression specific work for a turbomachine is given by

Wsp (U2Cu2 U1Cu1)


This equation is also know as Eulers turbomachinery equation.
Here, U1 = r1 and U2 = r2
nb b
Thus, Wsp 2

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Frames of Reference
Referring once again to Figs. 1.2.1 and 1.2.2, it is important to
note that, in turbomachinery, fluid flows through stationary as
well as rotating parts of the machine.
More often, the flow switches from stationary to rotating parts
and vice versa.
The governing equations to describe such flows are therefore
written by fixing the coordinate system on a rotating frame of
reference.
It is therefore important to understand the difference in defining
the fluid motion in the stationary as well as the moving (rotating)
frames of reference with respect to a fixed inertial frame.
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Fig. 1.2.7 shows the general Cartesian coordinate system fixed in


space (inertial reference frame, I) and a system (A) accelerating

v t
with respect to it. The system is translating
with
a
velocity

and rotating with an angular velocity t .


In the following chapter, the description of fluid motion with
respect to stationary frame of reference is first discussed. The
description with rotating frame will be taken up later.

Fig 1.2.7 Inertial and rotating reference frames

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Summary of Lecture 1.2


The concepts of circulation around a contour, extended to a
number of closed contours surrounding a row of blades, is used
to derived the expression for specific work of a turbomachine.
The concepts of inertial and rotational frames of reference are
introduced.

END OF LECTURE 1.2

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