Computational predictions of the transient flow in multiple blade row turbomachinery configurations are considered. For cases with unequal numbers of blades/vanes in adjacent rows (“unequal pitch”) a computation over multiple passages is required to ensure that simple periodic boundary conditions can be applied. For typical geometries, a time accurate solution requires computation over a significant portion of the wheel. A number of methods are now available that address the issue of unequal pitch while significantly reducing the required computation time. Considered here are a family of related methods (“Transformation Methods”) which transform the equations, the solution or the boundary conditions in a manner that appropriately recognizes the periodicity of the flow, yet do not require solution of all or a large number of the blades in a given row. This paper will concentrate on comparing and contrasting these numerical treatments. The first method, known as “Profile Transformation”, overcomes the unequal pitch problem by simply scaling the flow profile that is communicated between neighboring blade rows, yet maintains the correct blade geometry and pitch ratio. The next method, known as the “Fourier Transformation” method applies phase shifted boundary conditions. To avoid storing the time history on the periodic boundary, a Fourier series method is used to store information at the blade passing frequency (BPF) and its harmonics. In the final method, a pitch-wise time transformation is performed that ensures that the boundary is truly periodic in the transformed space. This method is referred to as “Time Transformation”. The three methods have recently been added to a commercially-available CFD solver which is pressure based and implicit in formulation. The results are compared and contrasted on two turbine cases of engineering significance: a high pressure power turbine stage and a low pressure aircraft engine turbine stage. The relative convergence rates and solution times are examined together with the effect of non blade passing frequencies in the flow field. Transient solution times are compared with more conventional steady stage analyses, and in addition detailed flow physics such as boundary layer transition location are examined and reported.

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