Implementation of Blade Element Momentum/Vortex Methods for the Design of Aero Engine Propellers
This report outlines the theory and methodology used in the Chalmers in-house propeller design code OPTOPROP.
The design code was developed in order to enable the design of propeller blades for aircraft engines, particularly for open rotor engines. A literature study of existing propeller design and analysis methods is done, and a number of promising design methods based on the Blade Element-Momentum and Blade Element-Vortex methods are implemented. An in-house variant of these design and analysis methods is also derived which can account for nonuniform inflow to the propeller. The methods are validated against experimental results from literature and numerical (CFD) simulations and show good accordance in their trends. The design methods would benefit from calibration since the thrust obtained thrust values from CFD are slightly under-predicted relative to OPTOPROP. Nevertheless, the design program has shown itself to be very useful for the design and optimization of propellers and open rotor blades.