The primary focus of this paper is convective heat transfer in axial flow turbines. Research activity involving heat transfer generally separates into two related areas: predictions and measurements. The problems associated with predicting heat transfer are coupled with turbine aerodynamics because proper prediction of vane and blade surface-pressure distribution is essential for predicting the corresponding heat-transfer distribution. The experimental community has advanced to the point where time-averaged and time-resolved 3-D heat-transfer data for the vanes and blades are obtained routinely by those operating full-stage rotating turbines. However, there are relatively few CFD codes capable of generating 3-D predictions of the heat-transfer distribution, and where these codes have been applied the results suggest that additional work is required.

This paper outlines the progression of work done by the heat transfer community over the last several decades as both the measurements and the predictions have improved to current levels. To properly frame the problem, the paper reviews the influence of turbine aerodynamics on heat transfer predictions. This includes a discussion of time-resolved surface-pressure measurements with predictions and the data involved in forcing function measurements. The ability of existing 2-D and 3-D Navier Stokes codes to predict the proper trends of the time-averaged and unsteady pressure field for full-stage rotating turbines is demonstrated. Most of the codes do a reasonably good job of predicting the surface-pressure data at vane and blade midspan, but not as well near the hub or the tip region for the blade. In addition, the ability of the codes to predict surface-pressure distribution is significantly better than the corresponding heat-transfer distributions.

Heat-transfer codes are validated against measurements of one type or another. Sometimes the measurements are performed using full rotating rigs, and other times a much more simple geometry is used. In either case, it is important to review the measurement techniques currently used. Heat-transfer predictions for engine turbines are very difficult because the boundary conditions are not well known. The conditions at the exit of the combustor are generally not well known and a section of this paper discusses that problem. The majority of the discussion is devoted to external heat transfer with and without cooling, turbulence effects, and internal cooling.

As the design community increases the thrust to weight ratio and the turbine inlet temperature, there remain many turbine-related heat transfer issues. Included are film cooling modeling, definition of combustor exit conditions, understanding of blade tip distress, definition of hot streak migration, component fatigue, loss mechanisms in the low turbine, and many others. Several suggestions are given herein for research and development areas for which there is potentially high payoff to the industry with relatively small risk.

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