An Experimental Study of Turbine Vane Heat Transfer With Water–Air Cooling

[+] Author and Article Information
N. V. Nirmalan, J. A. Weaver, L. D. Hylton

Allison Engine Company, SC W16, P.O. Box 420, Indianapolis, IN 46206

J. Turbomach 120(1), 50-60 (Jan 01, 1998) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2841387 History: Received February 01, 1996; Online January 29, 2008


This paper presents data showing the improvement in cooling effectiveness of turbine vanes through the application of water–air cooling technology in an industrial/utility engine application. The technique utilizes a finely dispersed water-in-air mixture that impinges on the internal surfaces of turbine airfoils to produce very high cooling rates. An airfoil was designed to contain a standard impingement tube, which distributes the water–air mixture over the inner surface of the airfoil. The water flash vaporizes off the airfoil inner wall. The resulting mixture of air–steam–water droplets is then routed through a pin fin array in the trailing edge region of the airfoil where additional water is vaporized. The mixture then exits the airfoil into the gas path through trailing edge slots. Experimental measurements were made in a three-vane, linear, two-dimensional cascade. The principal independent parameters—Mach number, Reynolds number, wall-to-gas temperature ratio, and coolant-to-gas mass flow ratio—were maintained over ranges consistent with typical engine conditions. Five impingement tubes were utilized to study geometry scaling, impingement tube-to-airfoil wall gap spacing, impingement tube hole diameter, and impingement tube hole patterns. The test matrix was structured to provide an assessment of the independent influence of parameters of interest, namely, exit Mach number, exit Reynolds number, gas-to-coolant temperature ratio, water-and air-coolant-to-gas mass flow ratios, and impingement tube geometry. Heat transfer effectiveness data obtained in this program demonstrated that overall cooling levels typical for air-cooled Vanes could be achieved with the water–air cooling technique with reductions of cooling air flow of significantly more than 50 percent.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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