A continuing technology development program initiated by General Electric (GE) in the early 1960s and joined by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in 1974 is successfully resolving potential barrier problems in the development of water cooled turbines. Early work by GE Corporate Research and Development demonstrated the feasibility of closed circuit, pressurized water-cooling of stationary nozzles (vanes), and of open circuit, unpressurized water-cooling of rotating buckets (blades). A small-scale turbine was designed, fabricated, and operated at a gas temperature of 2850 F (1565 C) at 16 atm, with surface metal temperatures less than 1000 F (540 C). Early results from the EPRI sponsored Water-Cooled Gas Turbine Development Programs were presented at the 1978 Gas Turbine Conference (Report #ASME 78-GT-72). This paper reports more recent results, obtained between mid-1977 and mid-1978. Significant progress has been made in a number of areas: (a) water-cooled nozzle and bucket design and fabrication, (b) corrosion kinetics model verification and testing, (c) partially filled internal channel bucket heat transfer testing, and (d) stationary to rotating water transfer and collection testing. Results to date are encouraging with regard to the application of water-cooled turbine components to achieve improved reliability and fuels flexibility at increased turbine firing temperatures.

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