In modern gas turbines, film cooling is one of the widely used external cooling techniques for turbine vanes and blades. The turbine airfoil leading edge, which is highly loaded thermally, is currently protected from the hot gas by film cooling schemes, so called showerhead cooling. Flow field in film cooling is very complex and detailed knowledge of heat transfer rates and metal temperatures are required while designing these cooling systems.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is gaining popularity for modeling these complex cooling systems. However, the application of CFD depends on its accuracy and reliability. This requires the CFD code to be validated with laboratory measurements to ensure its predictive capacity. In this regard, a project has been taken to validate the commercially available CFD code for predicting the blade heat transfer characteristics with shower head film cooling.

The validation is accomplished with the test results of Ames [5]. C3X vanes were used for their four vane cascade test facility. The showerhead array used consists of 5 rows of 20° spanwise slanted holes. Experiments were carried out with lower (1%) and higher (12%) turbulence intensities. Results of metal temperatures and heat transfer coefficients were reported.

The objective of this study is to validate and calibrate a commercially available CFD code, against the available test data [5] and to understand the relationship between complex flow fields and heat transfer behavior. STAR-CCM+ is used for model generation, mesh generation and solution. Polyhedral elements with prism layers around the wall surfaces are generated. Three turbulence models, Durbin’s v2f model, Menter SST and SST transition models are explored in this study. Simulations are performed for two turbulence intensities available. Typical flow parameters such as blade surface heat transfer coefficient (HTC), surface temperatures and the location of flow transition are compared. Results were compared for two typical cascade exit Mach number conditions such as 0.2 and 0.7, which represents subsonic and transonic conditions respectively.

Except in suction side transition region, numerically simulated heat transfer coefficient and Stanton number matched well with test data. Vane wall temperature contours were presented to understand the heat transfer behavior. The heat transfer behavior was numerically investigated for realistic exit Mach numbers. Sensitivity study for two inlet free stream turbulence intensities and three inlet free stream turbulence length scales are performed for realistic exit Mach number and reported heat transfer coefficient and Stanton number.

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