Thermo-Fluids & Turbomachinery
Introduction to Thermo-Fluids & Turbomachinery.
Part of the Department of Engineering Science, the Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory is located in a brand new facility to the west of the city called the Southwell Building. The new laboratory was opened by the Vice Chancellor in 2010 as part of the University's strategic investment in the nation's science base. The lab houses some of the most sophisticated turbine and high speed flow facilities in the UK, and the research group includes internationally recognised experts in CFD, flow and heat transfer experiments and instrumentation.
The Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory is now hosting an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics in association with the Universities of Cambridge and Loughborough, and in close partnership with several leading industrial companies including Rolls-Royce and Siemens.
Our CFD research is focussed on solving some of the most challenging problems in turbomachinery and fluid dynamics using highly innovative approaches. Our broad range of research activities includes the development of unstructured and multi-block mesh solvers, Fourier modelling for non-linear steady and unsteady systems, large eddy simulation of turbulence, simulation of unsteady flows in turbomachinery and strategies for solving aero-elastic and aeromechanics.
Research carried out at the Fluid Dynamics Laboratory is focused on the study of a variety of fluid flow phenomena across several time and length scales. Current studies include (but are not limited to) the dynamics of free surface flows, such as the physics of drops and liquid jets. Potential applications such as Inkjet and 3D Printing are central to our studies.
We are interested in the field of convective heat transfer and cooling technology and have developed experimental approaches and instrumentation to research the heat transfer in turbine cooling passages, heat exchangers, fin cooling systems, film cooling, fire attack, power electronic cooling, micro-fluidic flows and tokamak (fusion reactor) cooling. The research applies advanced instrumentation including liquid crystals, infra-red thermography and thin film gauges in a range of steady and transient test facilities. Our research combines experiments with CFD studies.
Some of the most challenging air flow problems in a jet engine occur in the seal systems used to control the pressures and temperatures of the secondary air system. The thermodynamic cycle is sensitive to leakage flows, and designers depend on sophisticated seals to deliver high engine efficiency. In many advanced seals, the geometry is dependent on the leakage flow which leads to complex fluid / structural interactions. This research is focussed on the development of new seals for application to high speed, rotating shafts iin future engines. The group has a range of test facilities and has developed modelling strategies that are used to engineer new seal systems.
We have designed and built an impressive range of high speed flow test facilities that are used to produce a fundamental understanding of the complex flows that occur in turbomachinery, as well as produce key data for CFD validation. The Oxford Turbine Research Facility (OTRF) has the capability to measure aerodynamic loss, turbine efficiency and surface heat transfer for a HP turbine under engine representative conditions. This short duration tunnel was originally designed and built by Oxford and operated by the MoD and then QinetiQ on the Farnborough site. The Gas Turbine Engine Capacity Facility has been designed to use engine parts and has been used to develop an accurate transient technique for gas-turbine engine mass flow rate measurement. The Annular Sector Heat Transfer Facility has been used to develop a technique for cooling system research.
Our research into Hypersonic flow phenomena uses our three national status test facilities that can replicate a range of flight conditions from the rarified flow conditions at re-entry (above 50km earth altitude) to lower altitude hypersonic conditions for Mach numbers ranging from 2 to 9, where high Reynolds numbers can be simulated.