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Aero-Engine design: From state-of-the-art Turbofans article pay-per-view 25€/article

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The first lectures notes focus on the preliminary design of state of the art turbofan engine for the propulsion of civil aircraft. Issues like thermodynamic cycle, mission analysis, and off design operation (operating line) are addressed. Practical examples are presented. Once this important phase is completed, the different design teams have the boundary conditions to start the design of each component.



VKI LS 2008-03

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The first lectures notes focus on the preliminary design of state of the art turbofan engine for the propulsion of civil aircraft. Issues like thermodynamic cycle, mission analysis, and off design operation (operating line) are addressed. Practical examples are presented. Once this important phase is completed, the different design teams have the boundary conditions to start the design of each component.

The fan must cope with a number of constraints in terms of mechanical resistance, noise and surge margin. The aerodynamic design involves both subsonic flow at the hub and supersonic flow at the tip. The design of the booster (low pressure compressor) is then addressed where the multistage operation and the matching between successive stages are important concerns.

Moving to the high pressure compressor, the notes first describe the preliminary design based on through flow calculations. Then, airfoil design, from 2D sections to stage matching optimisation, is addressed. Current trends for future HPC configurations are outlined.

The design of the combustion chamber involves a number of disciplines such as aerodynamics, fuel atomisation, chemistry of combustion and combustor cooling as well as environmental regulatory issues for emissions (NOx, CO, UHC, soot) along with future combustor technologies. Each of these topics is reviewed while addressing the design of the combustion chamber.

The high-pressure turbine has the particularity to be submitted to high levels of centrifugal force and exposure to very hot burned gases. The design process, involving successively 1D, 2D and 3D analysis is targeting the highest stage efficiency while accommodating for the cooling of the blades.

The low-pressure turbine design must satisfy high efficiency together with low weight, cost and noise. This is defined primarily by the load and flow coefficients and the number of airfoils. New lightweight / low cost configurations tend to reduce the number of blades thanks to high lift designs that take advantage of the positive effects of the unsteady row interaction on the airfoil boundary layer behaviour.

Concerns related to fuel consumption and environmentally friendliness have pushed the engine manufacturer community to look into innovative architectures. Some of them are under investigation in the large European projects VITAL, NEWAC, and DREAM. One possibility is to improve the heat management in the engine taking advantage of the available hot (turbine exhaust) and cold (external air) heat sources. This leads to an increase of the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine cycle.

VKI LS 2008-03

Another alternative is to revise the approach to the main source of thrust and noise i.e. the fan. The geared turbofan provides lower fan tip speeds with a high speed booster and a high speed low pressure turbine opening perspectives for a more silent, compact and lighter engine. The 2 stage contra-rotating fan targets similar objectives with a lower fan tip speed, a more compact nacelle (less drag) and a lighter engine. Finally the open rotor configuration opens an alternative for a significant reduction of the fuel consumption thanks to an improved propulsive efficiency.

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