Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FACTOR Report Summary

Project ID: 265985
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: France

Periodic Report Summary 4 - FACTOR (Full Aero-thermal Combustor-Turbine interactiOn Research)

Project Context and Objectives:
To reduce fuel consumption and CO2 / NOx emissions, modern turbo-machineries operate at high velocities and high temperature conditions. The lack of confidence in the prediction of combustor-turbine interaction leads to apply extra safety margins on components design. Consequently, the understanding of combustor-turbine flow field interactions is mandatory to preserve high-pressure turbine (HPT) life and performance when optimising the design of new HPT and combustors (e.g. lean burn combustors). Previous projects have investigated combustor technologies to improve combustor volume, cooling, emissions and exit temperature profiles (INTELLECT and TIMECOP) and others addressed the challenge of understanding the behaviour of hot flow structures in the HPT (TATEF2 and AITEB2). All those projects gave a better understanding of the physical behaviour of the combustor and the turbine and brought improvements on the designs of both modules. However industrial experience demonstrates that the separate optimisation of the two modules combustor and turbine - does not necessarily ensure that the system in which they are embedded will also be optimum. This understanding is even more crucial to develop new combustion technologies (e.g. lean burn combustion) where there is a lack of industrial experience. The link between the combustor and the turbine in an engine is very tight and all engine manufacturers are putting a strong effort to master this interface: extremely hot gases, variable boundary layers, turbulence effects and inherent unsteadiness are some of the phenomena making this region of the engine a difficult interface. This interface still requires strong improvements as gas turbine designers are lacking the experimental data needed to optimise its design. The main objective of the FACTOR project is to optimise the combustor-HPT interaction design. This will be achieved through a better understanding of the interaction between the coolant system, the transport and mixing mechanisms enabling a Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) reduction of about 2%.
To get a detailed understanding of the combustor-HPT interactions, FACTOR will set up an experimental test infrastructure using most advanced measurement techniques. These measurement techniques will be adapted to FACTOR specific requirements and all combined to ensure that an all-encompassing and comprehensive database of measurements is obtained together, respecting exactly the same boundary conditions. This unique test infrastructure involves two complementary European turbine test rigs:
-A new continuous flow facility hosted by DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt). Fed by hot and cold air, this module will supply realistic flow field to the downstream HPT and thus enable experimentalists to explore the aerodynamic and thermal interactions between combustor and turbine.
-A complementary blow-down turbine facility hosted by Oxford University (the Oxford Turbine Research Facility O-TRF) that will be used to supplement the analysis of the DLR continuous flow test rig. The project is split into 6 main technical work packages (WP).
WP1 aims at designing and manufacturing the components of the rig. Separate combustor and turbine concepts are studied, designed and then integrated together to ensure that mechanical, thermal and aerodynamic performances match specifications.
WP2 will design and manufacture the instrumentation. The new turbine test rig hosted by DLR will be upgraded to ensure that the combustor / turbine modules and the necessary equipment’s and services are achieved. The components will then be integrated within the whole test rig in WP3.
WP4 will focus on the measurements campaign. Aerodynamic and aero-thermal measurements will be performed to build the most comprehensive database:
-Characterization of the solid temperatures inside the HPT;
-Measurements of wall heat flux;
-Characterization of the HPT aerodynamic performances under representative inlet flow conditions found in a real engine.
WP5 will assess the lean burn influences on low turning strut heat transfer in the O–TRF.
Experiments and computations will be synthesized in WP6 and the analysis of the generated CFD data should lead to the drawing up of guidelines on modelling combustor-turbine interaction.
Project Results:
After beginning of fourth period, design of all HP turbine components were finalized. As some design changes have been done to tackle possible resonance of the rotor at nominal speed, mechanical tests have been done during fourth period to certify that every problems have been sold and that risks are under control.
In parallel, the manufacturing process by PROGESA started and at the end of the fourth period all parts have been manufactured by PROGESA. The only remaining part to be manufactured is the LP glass window which should be delivered around April.
Once parts were available, the instrumentation process started and should be finalized in early 2017.
An additional campaign at the UNIFI three-sector test rig has been scheduled to provide more experimental results to the consortium. This time, three cooled NGV’s will be added after the combustor simulator. These NGVs, similar to NGVs on FACTOR rig have been manufactured by PROGESA and delivered to UNIFI.
Despite all efforts, an additional 9months extension has been requested to allow the consortium to perform the test campaign. An optimized assembly and test sequence has been scheduled by the consortium to be sure that FACTOR will provide reliable results to the consortium.
At the end of the 4th period, gearbox problems on the Interturb rig are solved and the planning for the assembly, commissioning and test campaign is under control.
The aim of the FACTOR project is to optimize the combustor-HP turbine design. In order to get a detailed understanding of the interactions between these two modules, FACTOR needs to set up an experimental test infrastructure using most advanced measurement techniques.
Hence the objectives of the third period (June 2015 – November 2016) were the following:
-To manufacture every part required for the rig
-To make the instrumentation
-To finalise pre-test CFD
-To schedule assembly and test sequence to keep risks under control

Potential Impact:
Such test infrastructure will allow for the collection of data needed to:
-Improve the knowledge of aero-thermal external flows. FACTOR will investigate the behaviour of a realistic (compared to actual engines) combustor outlet / turbine inlet conditions in the HPT to better understand the interaction with the coolant system, the transport and mixing mechanisms. This issue is of strategic importance as it deeply affects the thermo-mechanical design of turbine components.
-Assess the reliability and performance in predicting the combustor-turbine interaction of conventional and advanced CFD techniques based on URANS, DES and LES.
-Develop more efficient low-cost turbines and reduce the SFC by 2%, the weight of the HPT by 1.5% and accordingly the engine cost by 3% compared to the results achieved in TATEF2 and AITEB2. This should as well enable a reduction of CO2 emissions by 1%, associated with NOx reduction.
More generally, FACTOR is targeting the understanding of combustor-turbine interactions that will lead to increase thermal efficiency by optimising the coolant flows and reducing risks for the integration of lean burn combustors with turbine modules. Improvements of testing and modelling capabilities will finally allow the engine manufacturers to obtain more thermally efficient gas turbines. The FACTOR project test infrastructure will enable further research in combustor-turbine understanding and allow the study of state-of-the-art combustor concepts to be used in the next generation of aero-engines.
List of Websites:


Charles CHUC, (European Programmes Manager)
Tel.: +33 1 60 59 49 87
Fax: +33 1 60597845


Record Number: 199796 / Last updated on: 2017-06-21
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top