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Winglets for Improved Aerothermal Performance of High Pressure Turbines

[+] Author Affiliations
John D. Coull, Nick R. Atkins, Howard P. Hodson

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Paper No. GT2013-94425, pp. V06AT36A011; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 6A: Turbomachinery
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5522-5
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This paper investigates the design of winglet tips for unshrouded high pressure turbine rotors, considering aerodynamic and thermal performance simultaneously. A novel parameterization method has been developed to alter the tip geometry of a rotor blade. A design survey of un-cooled, flat-tipped winglets is performed using RANS calculations for a single rotor at engine representative operating conditions.

Compared to a plain tip, large efficiency gains can be realized by employing an overhang around the full perimeter of the blade, but the overall heat load rises significantly. By employing an overhang on only the early suction surface, significant efficiency improvements can be obtained without increasing the overall heat transfer to the blade.

The flow physics are explored in detail to explain the results. For a plain tip, the leakage and passage vortices interact to create a three-dimensional impingement onto the blade suction surface, causing high heat transfer. The addition of an overhang on the early suction surface displaces the tip leakage vortex away from the blade, weakening the impingement effect and reducing the heat transfer on the blade. The winglets reduce the aerodynamic losses by unloading the tip section, reducing the leakage flow rate, turning the leakage flow in a more streamwise direction and reducing the interaction between the leakage fluid and endwall flows. Generally these effects are most effective close to the leading edge of the tip, where the leakage flow is subsonic.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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