The modern gas turbine engine industry needs a simpler and faster method to facilitate the design of gas turbine combustors due to the enormous costs of experimental test rigging and detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Therefore, in the initial design phase, a couple of preliminary designs are conducted to establish initial values for combustor performance and geometric characteristics. In these preliminary designs, various one-dimensional models using analytical and empirical formulations may be used. One of the disadvantages of existing models is that they are typically geometric dependant, i.e. they apply only to the geometry they are derived for. Therefore the need for a more versatile design tool exists. In this work, which constitutes the first step in the development of such a versatile design tool, a single equation-set network simulation model to describe both steady state compressible and incompressible isothermal flow is developed. The continuity and momentum equations are solved through a hybrid type network model analogy which makes use of the SIMPLE pressure correction methodology. The code has the capability to efficiently compute flow through elements where the loss factor K is highly flow dependant and accurately describes variable area duct flow in the case of incompressible flow. The latter includes ducts with discontinuously varying flow sectional areas. Proper treatment of flow related non-linearities, such as flow friction, is facilitated in a natural manner in the proposed methodology. The proposed network method is implemented into a Windows based simulation package with a user interface. The ability of the proposed method to accurately model both compressible and incompressible flow is demonstrated through the analyses of a number of benchmark problems. It will be shown that the proposed methodology yields similar or improved results as compared to other’s work. The proposed method is applied to a research combustor to solve for isothermal flows and flow splits. The predicted flows were in relatively close agreement with measured data as well as detailed CFD analysis.
Dissertation (MEng (Mechanical Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2006.