Large Eddy Simulation of Cooling Practices for Improved Film Cooling Performance of a Gas Turbine Blade

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Nabeel Al-Zurfi


The Large Eddy Simulation approach is employed to predict the flow physics and heat transfer characteristics of a film-cooling problem that is formed from the interaction of a coolant jet with a hot mainstream flow. The film-cooling technique is used to protect turbine blades from thermal failure, allowing the gas inlet temperature to be increased beyond the failure temperature of the turbine blade material in order to enhance the efficiency of gas turbine engines. A coolant fluid is injected into the hot mainstream through several rows of injection holes placed on the surface of a gas turbine blade in order to form a protective coolant film layer on the blade surface. However, due to the complex, unsteady and three-dimensional interactions between the coolant and the hot gases, it is difficult to achieve the desired cooling performance. Understanding of this complex flow and heat transfer process will be helpful in designing more efficiently cooled rotor blades.A comprehensive numerical investigation of a rotating film-cooling performance under different conditions is conducted in this thesis, including film-cooling on a flat surface and film-cooling on a rotating gas turbine blade. The flow-governing equations are discretised based on the finite-volumes method and then solved iteratively using the well-known SIMPLE and PISO algorithms. An in-house FORTRAN code has been developed to investigate the flat plate film-cooling configuration, while the gas turbine blade geometry has been simulated using the STAR-CCM+ CFD commercial code. The first goal of the present thesis is to investigate the physics of the flow and heat transfer, which occurs during film-cooling from a standard film hole configuration. Film-cooling performance is analysed by looking at the distribution of flow and thermal fields downstream of the film holes. The predicted mean velocity profiles and spanwise-averaged film-cooling effectiveness are compared with experimental data in order to validate the reliability of the LES technique. Comparison of adiabatic film-cooling effectiveness with experiments shows excellent agreement for the local and spanwise-averaged film-cooling effectiveness, confirming the correct prediction of the film-cooling behaviour. The film coverage and film-cooling effectiveness distributions are presented along with discussions of the influence of blowing ratio and rotation number. Overall, it was found that both rotation number and blowing ratio play significant roles in determining the film-cooling effectiveness distributions. The second goal is to investigate the impact of innovative anti-vortex holes on the film-cooling performance. The anti-vortex hole design counteracts the detrimental kidney vorticity associated with the main hole, allowing coolant to remain attached to the blade surface. Thus, the new design significantly improves the film-cooling performance compared to the standard hole arrangement, particularly at high blowing ratios. The anti-vortex hole technique is unique in that it requires only readily machinable round holes, unlike shaped film-cooling holes and other advanced concepts. The effects of blowing ratio and the positions of the anti-vortex side holes on the physics of the hot mainstream-coolant interaction in a film-cooled turbine blade are also investigated. The results also indicate that the side holes of the anti-vortex design promote the interaction between the vortical structures; therefore, the film coverage contours reveal an improvement in the lateral spreading of the coolant jet.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2017