Hydrogen or coal-derivative syngas turbines promise increased efficiency with exceptionally low NOx emissions compared to the natural gas based turbines. To reach this goal, turbine inlet temperature (TIT) will need to be elevated to a level exceeding 1700°C [1, 2]. The thermal load induced by such a temperature increase alone will lead to immense challenges in maintaining material integrity of turbine components. In addition, as working fluid in the gas path will primarily be steam, possibly mixed with carbon oxides, the aero-thermal characteristic in a hydrogen turbine is expected to be far different from that of air/nitrogen enriched gas stream in a gas turbine. For instance, steam has distinctly higher density and specific heat in comparison to a mixture of air and combustion gases as they are expanded in a conventional gas turbine. Even if the temperature limits remain about the same, the expansion in a hydrogen turbine will have to proceed with a greater enthalpy drop and therefore requires a larger number of stages. This also implies that the flow areas may need to be expanded and blade span to be enlarged. Meanwhile, a greater number of stages and hot surfaces need to be protected. This also suggests that current cooling technology available for modern day gas turbines has to be significantly improved. The ultimate goal of the present study is to systematically investigate critical issues concerning cooling technology as it is applicable to oxy-fuel and hydrogen turbine systems, and the main scope is to develop viable means to estimate the thermal load on the turbine “gas side”, that is eventually to be removed from the “coolant side”, and to comparatively quantify the implication of external heat load and potential thermal barrier coating (TBC) degradation on the component durability and lifing. The analysis is based on two well-tested commercial codes, FLUENT and ANSYS.

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