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Film Cooling Modelling for Gas Turbine Nozzles and Blades: Validation and Application

[+] Author Affiliations
Luca Andrei, Luca Innocenti

GE Oil & Gas, Florence, Italy

Antonio Andreini, Bruno Facchini, Lorenzo Winchler

University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Paper No. GT2015-43345, pp. V05BT12A039; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 5B: Heat Transfer
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 15–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5672-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for modern turbine blade design requires the accurate representation of the effect of film cooling. However, including complete cooling hole discretization in the computational domain requires a substantial meshing effort and leads to a drastic increase in the computing time. For this reason, many efforts have been made to develop lower order approaches aiming at reducing the number of mesh elements and therefore computational resources. The simplest approach models the set of holes as a uniform coolant injection, but it does not allow an accurate assessment of the interaction between hot gas and coolant. Therefore higher order models have been developed, such as those based on localized mass sources in the region of hole discharge.

It is here proposed an innovative injection film cooling model (FCM), embedded in a CFD code, to represent the effect of cooling holes by adding local source terms at the hole exit in a delimited portion of the domain, avoiding the meshing process of perforations. The goal is to provide a reliable and accurate tool to simulate film-cooled turbine blades and nozzles without having to explicitly mesh the holes.

The validation campaign of the proposed model is composed of two phases. During the first one, results obtained with the film cooling model are compared to experimental data and to numerical results obtained with the full meshing of the cooling holes on a series of test cases, ranging from single row to multi row flat plate, at varying coolant conditions (in terms of blowing and density ratio). Though details of the flow structure downstream of the holes cannot be perfectly captured, this method allows an accurate prediction of the overall flow and performance modifications induced by the presence of the cooling holes, with a strong agreement to complete hole discretization results. In the second phase, a complete film-cooled vane test case has been studied, in order to consider a real injection system and flow conditions. In this case, film cooling model predictions are compared to an in-house developed correlative approach and full CHT 3D-CFD results.

Finally, a comparison between film cooling model predictions and experimental data was performed on an actual nozzle of a GE Oil & Gas heavy-duty gas turbine as well, in order to prove the feasibility of the procedure.

The presented film cooling model proved to be a feasible and reliable tool to evaluate adiabatic effectiveness, simplifying the design phase avoiding the meshing process of perforations. Also, refining the mesh near the hole exit, FCM results well approximate the solution coming from a full CHT calculation.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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