This paper discusses the approach of cooling design optimization of a HPT endwall with 3D Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT) CFD applied. This study involved the optimization of the spacing of impingement jet array and the exit width of shaped holes, which were different for each cooling cavity. The optimization objectives were to reduce the wall temperature level and also to increase the aerodynamic performance of the gas turbine.
The optimization methodology consisted of an in-house parametric design & CFD mesh generation tool, a CHT CFD solver, a database of wall temperature distributions, a metamodel, and a genetic algorithm (GA) for evolutionary multi-objective optimization. The CFD tool was validated against experimental data of an endwall at CHT conditions. The metamodel, which could efficiently predict the aerodynamic loss and the wall temperature distribution of a new individual based on the database, was developed and coupled with Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) to accelerate the optimization process.
Through optimization search, the Pareto front of the problem was found costing only tens of CFD runs. By comparing with additional CFD results, it was demonstrated that the design variables in the Pareto front successfully reached the optimal values. The optimal spacing of each impingement array was decided accommodating the local thermal load while avoiding jet lift-off of film coolant. It was also suggested that using cylindrical film holes near throat could benefit both aerodynamics and cooling.