Typical turbomachinery flows are too complex to be predicted by analytical solutions alone. Therefore numerous correlations and test data are used in conjunction with numerical tools in order to design thermally critical components. This approach can be problematic because these correlations and data are not fully independent of the boundary conditions applied. The heat transfer coefficients obtained are not only dependent on the aerodynamics of the flow but also on the thermal boundary layer created along the surface. The adiabatic heat transfer coefficient is the only one which is independent of the thermal boundary conditions, as long as the energy equation can be considered linear with respect to the temperature. However, a proper prediction of the surface temperature cannot be obtained with the adiabatic heat transfer coefficient alone.
This paper first reviews the concept of adiabatic heat transfer coefficient and its application to turbomachinery flows. Later, a concept is introduced to allow interchanging between different definitions of heat transfer coefficient and boundary conditions, i.e. constant heat flux or constant wall temperature. Finally, a typical configuration for measuring the adiabatic heat transfer coefficient on a turbine blade and the conversion to other definitions of heat transfer coefficient is presented and evaluated. It is shown that with the technique presented here even small deficiencies of some experiments can be compensated for.