|Fig. 5-1 A triple-stage turbine with single shaft system.|
|Fig. 5-2 A twin turbine and shaft arrangement.|
1. The turbine has the task of providing the power to drive the compressor and accessories and, in the case of engines which do not make use solely of a jet for propulsion, of providing shaft power for a propeller or rotor. It does this by extracting energy from the hot gases released from the combustion system and expanding them to a lower pressure and temperature. High stresses are involved in this process, and for efficient operation, the turbine blade tips may rotate at speeds over 1,500 feet per second, The continuous flow of gas to which the turbine is exposed may have an entry temperature between 850 and 1,700 deg. C. and may reach a velocity of over 2,500 feet per second in parts of the turbine.
2. To produce the driving torque, the turbine may consist of several stages each employing one row of stationary nozzle guide vanes and one row of moving blades (fig. 5-1). The number of stages depends upon the relationship between the power required from the gas flow, the rotational speed at which it must be produced and the diameter of turbine permitted.
3. The number of shafts, and therefore turbines, varies with the type of engine; high compression ratio engines usually have two shafts, driving high and low pressure compressors (fig, 5-2). On high by-pass ratio fan engines that feature an intermediate pressure system, another turbine may be interposed between the high and low pressure turbines, thus forming a triple-spool system (fig, 5-3). On some engines, driving torque is derived from a free-power turbine (fig. 5-4). This method allows the turbine to run at its optimum speed because it is mechanically independent of other turbine and compressor shafts.
|Fig. 5-3 A triple turbine and shaft arrangement.|
|Fig. 5-4 A typical free power turbine.|
|Fig. 5-5 Comparison between a pure Impulse turbine and an impulse/reaction turbine.|
4. The mean blade speed of a turbine has considerab effect on the maximum efficiency possible for a given stage output. For a given output the gas velocities, deflections, and hence losses, are reduced in proportion to the square of higher mean blade speeds. Stress in the turbine disc increases as the square of the speed, therefore to maintain the same stress level at higher speed the sectional thickness, hence the weight, must be increased disproportionately. For this reason, the final design is a compromise between efficiency and weight. Engines operating at higher turbine inlet temperatures are thermally more efficient and have an improved power to weight ratio. By-pass engines have a better propulsive efficiency and thus can have a smaller turbine for a given thrust.
5. The design of the nozzle guide vane and turbine blade passages is based broadly on aerodynamic considerations, and to obtain optimum efficiency, compatible with compressor and combustion design, the nozzle guide vanes and turbine blades are of a turbine; impulse, reaction and a combination of the
two known as impulse-reaction. In the impulse type the total pressure drop across each stage occurs inthe fixed nozzle guide vanes which, because of their convergent shape, increase the gas velocity whilst reducing the pressure. The gas is directed onto the turbine blades which experience an impulse force caused by the impact of the gas on the blades. In the reaction type the fixed nozzle guide vanes are designed to alter the gas flow direction without changing the pressure. The converging blade passages experience a reaction force resulting from the expansion and acceleration of the gas. Normally gas turbine engines do not use pure impulse or pure reaction turbine blades but the impulse-reaction combination (fig. 5-5). The proportion of each principle incorporated in the design of a turbine is largely dependent on the type of engine in which the turbine is to operate, but in general it is about 50 per cent impulse and 50 per cent reaction. Impulse-type turbines are used for cartridge and air starters (Part 11).