Cooling design for the air-cooled turbine blades is a critical issue in modern gas turbine engineering. Advances in CFD technology is providing new prospects for turbine cooling design, as the optimum cooling structures of the blades could be designed through the optimization search coupled with the Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT) analysis. In this paper, the optimization study for the rib arrangement of a rib-roughed channel in a rotor blade is discussed.

The optimization study introduced is realized utilizing a parametric analysis platform, which consists of the parametric design and mesh generation tool and the commercial CHT solver ANSYS CFX. For the optimization study, firstly a group of Design of Experiments (DoE) analysis of a rib-roughed rectangular channel is performed in order to find the optimum rib arrangement and to explore the objective of the optimization search. Then, the optimization search of the optimum rib arrangement is performed for a rib-roughed channel within a rotor blade based on the multi-island Genetic Algorithms (GA) of iSIGHT. During optimization search, a constant pressure drop is assumed within the cooling system, and the CHT simulations are approached for the interior only in order to make the search computationally faster.

According to the DoE analysis, minimizing the averaged wall temperature on blade surface is chosen as the optimization objective for the design of rib arrangement. The results of the GA search shows that the optimal rib arrangement with best cooling performance can be decided, and the optimal mass flow rate for the cooling channel is found simultaneously. The optimum schemes of the rib arrangement found by the DoE analysis and GA search are quite identical, which further validates the feasibility of design optimization for the blade cooling structure with the GA and CHT simulations.

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