Design of Chalmers new low-pressure compressor test facility for low-speed testing of cryo-engine applications
Paper in proceeding, 2021

As a part of the ongoing Horizon 2020 ENABLEH2 project, a new low-speed compressor test facility is being constructed at the Chalmers University Laboratory of Fluids and Thermal Sciences. The ENABLEH2 project investigates critical technologies for cryogenic H2 applications in commercial aviation, including new combustion and heat management systems. This paper revolves around the design and construction of a core cooling flow facility which was commissioned to study and verify the potential benefits of incorporating a heat management system into the intermediate compressor duct (ICD).

The test facility is designed to operate continuously at rotor midspan chord Reynolds number up to 600,000 to allow for detailed aerothermal studies at a technical readiness level four. The two-stage axial compressor is representative of the low-pressure compressor and ICD of a mid-size commercial jet engine. The compressor is powered by a 147kW electric motor at 1920 RPM. The mass-flow and pressure ratio are controlled by restricting valves located at the inlet of the facility. A compact volute settling chamber, with an integrated thermal control system is used to control the inlet temperature and remove flow non-uniformities downstream the restrictor valves before entering the compressor. At the compressor inlet, a turbulence mesh is mounted to increase the turbulence intensity levels to 3-4% at the leading edge of the variable inlet guide vanes.

The compressor is mounted vertically to allow for easy access to the downstream ICD and mitigate non-axisymmetric mechanical loads. The compressor unit allows for optical and traverse access at two +- 9-degree sectors for all the rotor-stator interfaces. Upstream the OGV, there are four independent $\pm$ 180-degree access traverse systems. In the ICD, measurements are carried out by a single ABB robot with a U-shaped probe mount, providing full volume probing access of the ICD. At the first design iteration the ICD is designed to be instrumented with multi-hole probes, hot-wire anemometry and heat transfer measurement using IR-thermography.

The paper describes the facility and the process of achieving a high case similarity (engine representative) while maximising the quality of the experimental data over a large test domain, targets that often produce conflicting design demands.

Low-pressure Compressor






Isak Jonsson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics

Debarshee Ghosh

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics

Carlos Xisto

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics

Tomas Grönstedt

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Fluid Dynamics

Proceedings of European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid dynamics

Vol. 14 ETC2021-554

14th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid dynamics
Gdansk (Virtual), Poland,

Enabling cryogenic hydrogen-based CO2-free air transport (ENABLEH2)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/769241), 2018-09-01 -- 2021-08-31.

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering

Energy Engineering

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified


Chalmers Laboratory of Fluids and Thermal Sciences

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