Computational investigation on centrifugal compressor performance at various altitudes

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Conference Proceeding
Advanced Materials Research, 2011, 230-232 pp. 1123 - 1128
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Small gas turbine engines have been considered as a potential and popular mean of propulsion for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). With the advantage of high thrust/power-to-weight-ratio from these engines, small aircraft can have larger payload allowance and higher altitude capability. However, at present, these gas turbine engines are not mature enough to perform critical mission for UAV. To be used for such critical mission, these gas turbine engines need a better reliability, efficiency and endurance. The capability of the engine to work efficiently in conditions at different altitude with the variant of air density is a critical factor related to higher operational ceiling. Hence this work aims to present a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation approach focusing on centrifugal compressors which are applied to turbo machines. A computational method is developed for studying the performance of small gas turbine engines over a range of altitude and ambient temperatures under different engine rates, and a centrifugal compressor simulation model is generated by using CFD techniques. Through numerical solutions obtained for different mesh sets the finest mesh of the model was determined. The performance curves obtained by the CFD simulation has been compared with the results obtained from the analytical method. © 2011 Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.
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