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Purdue University - Purdue Experimental Turbine Aero Thermal Laboratory (PETAL).
The goal of Petal is to develop compact expansion fluid machinery for high speed propulsion and efficient power generation. The team focuses in three areas:
- Precise characterization of high-pressure turbines: The detailed physical analysis of stator–rotor interactions revealed a separation bubble on the rotor, which can be then be exploited using passive or active flow control strategies to improve the efficiency of transonic turbomachinery.
- Instrumentation and data processing: Although significant progress has been accomplished using CFD, the precise evaluation of the convective heat transfer in high Reynolds compressible flows still requires experimentation to fundamentally understand the boundary layer status and flow mixing.
- High-speed propulsion and compact power generation.
The new experimental facilities were conceived to address the critical need raised by modern computational and manufacturing tools that are able to produce optimal designs at a faster pace than in the past. Hence, a modular wind tunnel was required, with an unprecedented range of Re and Ma numbers, suitable to studying engine representative conditions (subsonic) at high and low pressure ratios, as well as supersonic inlet turbines. The team places particular emphasis on the integration of numerical CFD tools with experiments. They currently use academic CFD (such as OpenFoam, CADO), commercial (Numeca, ADS, CFD++, Fluent Ansys), and in-house tools (methods of characteristics) to design the experimental hardware, perform pre-test analysis, select the operating conditions, define the required accuracy for the sensors, and compare data with experiments”.