An approach to predicting turbine blade heat transfer when turbulent flow relaminarizes due to strong favorable pressure gradients is described. Relaminarization is more likely to occur on the pressure side of a rotor blade. While stators also have strong favorable pressure gradients, the pressure surface is less likely to become turbulent at low to moderate Reynolds numbers. Accounting for the effects of relaminarization for blade heat transfer can substantially reduce the predicted rotor surface heat transfer. This in turn can lead to reduced rotor cooling requirements. Two dimensional midspan Navier-Stokes analyses were done for each of eighteen test cases using eleven different turbulence models. Results showed that including relaminarization effects generally improved the agreement with experimental data. The results of this work indicate that relatively small changes in rotor shape can be utilized to extend the likelihood of relaminarization to high Reynolds numbers. Predictions showing how rotor blade heat transfer at a high Reynolds number can be reduced through relaminarization are given.

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