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The Design of a Steady Aero Thermal Research Turbine (START) for Studying Secondary Flow Leakages and Airfoil Heat Transfer

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael Barringer, Andrew Coward, Ken Clark, Karen A. Thole

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

John Schmitz, Joel Wagner

Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, CT

Mary Anne Alvin, Patcharin Burke, Rich Dennis

U.S. Department of Energy, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. GT2014-25570, pp. V05CT16A013; 13 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2014: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 5C: Heat Transfer
  • Düsseldorf, Germany, June 16–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4573-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


This paper describes a new gas turbine research facility that was designed and is currently being constructed with a number of unique features that allow experiments which aim at developing and improving sealing and cooling technologies at a reasonable cost. Experiments will include engine-representative rotating turbine hardware in a continuous, steady-state, high-pressure flow environment. The facility includes a 1.5 stage turbine that will simulate the aerodynamic flow and thermal field interactions in the engine between the hot mainstream gas path and the secondary air flows at relevant corrected operating conditions and scaling parameters. Testing in the new facility is planned to begin in 2014 and will take place in two phases. The first phase is focused on understanding the behavior of inner-stage gap flow leakages in the presence of the main gas path and the rotating blade platform. The second phase is focused on developing and testing novel cooling methods for turbine airfoils, platforms, and disks, ultimately leading to an integrated approach for more effective use of the secondary cooling flow. The uniqueness of this facility includes a continuous duration facility with engine-relevant rotational and axial Reynolds and Mach numbers at the blade inlet.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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