There is a need to improve predictions of losses resulting from large eddy simulations (LES) of low-pressure turbines (LPT) in gas turbines. This may be done by assessing the accuracy of predictions against validation data and understanding the source of any inaccuracies. LES is a promising approach for capturing the laminar/turbulent transition process in a LPT. In previous studies, the authors utilized LES to model the flow field over a Variable Speed Power Turbine (VSPT) blade and successfully captured characteristic features of separation/reattachment and transition on the suction side at both the cruise (positive incidence) and take-off conditions (negative incidence) and as well, simulated the effect of free-stream turbulence (FST) on those phenomena. The predicted pressure loading profiles agreed well with the experimental data for both a high and a low FST case at a Reynolds number of Reex = 220,000. In this paper, we present wake profiles resulting from computations for a range of FST values. Although the predicted wake profiles for the lowest FST case (Tu = 0.5%) matched the experimental data, at higher FST (Tu = 10–15%,) the wake was wider than the experimentally measured wake and for both cases were displaced laterally when compared to the experimental measurements. In our investigation of the causes of the said discrepancies we have identified important effects which could strongly influence the predicted wake profile. Predicted losses were improved by assuring the validity of the flow solution. This was done by utilizing spectral analysis to scrutinize the dynamic behavior of the wake and determine solution accuracy resulting from low mesh density and low accuracy of convective modeling.

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