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Performance Improvement of Axial Compressors and Fans with Plasma Actuation

Author(s): Sebastien Lemire | Huu Duc Vo | Michael W. Benner

Journal: International Journal of Rotating Machinery
ISSN 1023-621X

Volume: 2009;
Date: 2009;
Original page

This paper proposes the use of plasma actuator to suppress boundary layer separation on a compressor blade suction side to increase axial compressor performance. Plasma actuators are a new type of electrical flow control device that imparts momentum to the air when submitted to a high AC voltage at high frequency. The concept presented in this paper consists in the positioning of a plasma actuator near the separation point on a compressor rotor suction side to increase flow turning. In this computational study, three parameters have been studied to evaluate the effectiveness of plasma actuator: actuator strength, position and actuation method (steady versus unsteady). Results show that plasma actuator operated in steady mode can increase the pressure ratio, efficiency, and power imparted by the rotor to the air and that the pressure ratio, efficiency and rotor power increase almost linearly with actuator strength. On the other hand, the actuator's position has limited effect on the performance increase. Finally, the results from unsteady simulations show a limited performance increase but are not fully conclusive, due possibly to the chosen pulsing frequencies of the actuator and/or to limitations of the CFD code.
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