Air turbines are widely used to convert kinetic energy into power output in power engineering. The unsteady performance of air turbines with partial admission not only influences the aerodynamic performance and thermodynamic efficiency of turbine but also generates strong excitation force on blades to impair the turbine safely operating. Based on three-dimensional viscous compressible Navier-stokes equations, the present study employs RNG (Renormalization group) k-ε turbulence model with finite volume discretization on air turbine with partial admission. Numerical models of four different admission rates with full annulus are built and analyzed via CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modeling unsteady flows. Results indicate that the unsteady time-averaged isentropic efficiency is lower than the steady isentropic efficiency, and this difference rises as unsteady isentropic efficiency fluctuates stronger when the admission rate is reduced. The rotor axial and tangential forces with time are provided for all four admission rates. The low frequency excitation forces generated by partial admission are extraordinarily higher than the high frequency excitation forces by stator wakes.
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