Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the standard tool in the turbomachinery industry to analyze and optimize internal cooling systems of turbine components, but the code applied has to be validated. This paper presents a combined experimental and numerical study on the flow field and heat transfer in a cooling system consisting of a three-pass serpentine with rib turbulators and trailing edge ejection. The cooling geometry is taken from a stator vane currently used in an industrial gas turbine and operates at a coolant inlet Reynolds number of 45,000. As an experimental technique, magnetic resonance velocimentry (MRV) was used to obtain the three-dimensional time-averaged velocity field of the isothermal flow. The measurements were conducted in a large-scale model and resulted in 3.2 million velocity vectors and a measurement uncertainty of 6.1% of the bulk inlet velocity. The local wall heat transfer was measured in a separate experiment using thermochromic liquid crystals (TLC). These measurements yielded the distribution of the heat transfer coefficient on both the pressure and the suction side internal walls with a measurement uncertainty of 12%. The experimental data are used as reference for the numerical study. In total, eight turbulence models are evaluated here, including one-equation, two-equation, algebraic and differential Reynolds stress models, and a scale-adaptive simulation. The results show the differences between the velocity fields and the heat transfer coefficient distribution, allowing for the identification of the optimum turbulence model for this particular type of flow.

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