Multistage turbomachinery design using the discrete adjoint method within the open-source software su2

S. Vitale, M. Pini*, P. Colonna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
308 Downloads (Pure)


This paper documents a fully turbulent discrete ad joint method for three-dimensional multistage turbomachinery design. The method is based on a duality preserving algorithm and is implemented in the open-source computational fluid dynamics tool SU2. The SU2 Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes solver is first extended to treat three dimensional steady turbomachinery flow using a conservative formulation of the mixing-plane coupled to non reflective boundary conditions. The numerical features of the flow solver are automatically inherited by the discrete ad joint solver, ensuring the same convergence rate of the primal solver. The flow solver is then validated against experimental data available for three turbine configurations, namely, a one-and-half axial turbine stage, a transonic radial turbine coupled to a downstream diffuser, and a supersonic mini–organic Rankine cycle radial turbine operating with a fluid made by a heavy molecule. Finally the ad joint-based optimization framework is applied to the concurrent shape optimization of three rows of the axial turbine, demonstrating the advantages deriving from adopting multi row automated design methods in the context of turbomachinery design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-478
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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