A comprehensive analysis of the viscous incompressible flow in quasi-three-dimensional aerofoil cascades



A rigorous model of the fully elliptic flow over the blade-to-blade stream surface in an annular aerofoil cascade is developed. The model accuracy stems from its precise simulation of the meridional hub-to-casing flow effects, including those of the shear stress components that are created by the spanwise velocity gradients. These stresses are unprecedentedly introduced in the flow-governing equations in the form of source terms and are modelled as such. The final set of flow-governing equations are solved using the Galerkin weighted residual method coupled with a biquadratic finite element of the Lagrangian type. The flow solution is verified against the numerical results of a fully three-dimensional flow model and a set of experimental data, both concerning a low-aspect-ratio stator of an axial flow turbine under a low Reynolds number and subsonic flow operation mode. The numerical results in this case show well predicted aerofoil loading and pitch-averaged exit flow conditions. Also evident is a substantial capability of the analysis in modelling such critical regions as the wake subdomain. It is further proven that the new terms in the governing equations enhance the quality of the numerical predictions in this class of flow problems.