In this paper, the combined effects of ribs and double-layer, dome-shaped turning vanes on heat transfer and pressure drop are investigated in an idealized U-bend channel. Five kinds of ribs including transverse ribs, 45° ribs, 135° ribs, V-shaped ribs, and reverse V-shaped ribs combined with one kind of double-layer, dome-shaped turning vanes are applied. Baseline results are compared with the above composite cooling structures. Numerical simulations are performed by solving 3D, steady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with k-ω turbulence model. The channel aspect ratio is 1:2 and its hydraulic diameter is 93.13 mm, respectively. Based on the cooling air inlet velocity and the channel inlet hydraulic diameter, the inlet Reynolds numbers are ranging from 100,000 to 440,000. The detailed three-dimensional fluid flow, pressure and heat transfer distributions are presented. Moreover, the thermal performances of the U-bend channel are also evaluated and compared with different cases.

The results revealed that combined with the double-layer, dome-shaped turning vanes, the transverse ribs case has the best thermal performance at the tip wall, and the reverse V-shaped ribs case is the best for the leading wall. The pressure drop of the channel with double-layer, dome-shaped turning vanes without any rib turbulator is the lowest, and that of the channel with inclined ribs is significantly higher than that of the channel with transverse ribs.

The superposition of the secondary flow induced by the ribs and the Dean vortex induced by the 180° sharp turn has a marked impact on the flow and heat transfer in the channel. In the double-layer, dome-shaped turning vanes channel, the mass flow distribution of the coolant also affects the heat transfer on the tip wall of the channel, and the ribs can adjust the mass flow distribution. The helical vortex superposed by the mainstream flow and the secondary flow induced by the ribs represents typical flow phenomenon in ribbed channels. The flow and development of the helical vortex are the main factors affecting the heat transfer on the leading/trailing walls.

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