A comparative study of the influence of different means of turbine cooling on the thermodynamic efficiency and specific work of gas turbines is presented. A common general model of a simple open cycle gas turbine is used to compare the performance of turbines using different types of cooling; internal convection and impingement by air, film cooling by air, internal convection and impingement by steam, film cooling by steam and closed loop cooling by water. The results are also compared to the previously published results of the analysis of open loop water cooled gas turbines. The model evaluates the efficiency and specific work of simple cycle gas turbines as it is influenced by mixing losses of coolant with combustion gases, pumping work of coolant and heat transfer from the expanding gas. The study is performed in terms of dimensionless variables in order to achieve generality and to provide useful design guidelines and insights. Blades internally cooled by convection and impingement are treated as heat exchangers operating at constant metal temperature and the coolant exit temperature is simply expressed as a function of a heat exchanger effectiveness, an independent parameter which is normally a function of the intricacy of the layout of the cooling passages. The coolant requirements and heat transfer with film cooling are determined using a dimensionless correlation derived experimentally at M.I.T. Sample calculations give the optimum turbine inlet temperature of thermodynamic efficiency and specific work for different pressure ratios and typical dimensionless numbers. The data on specific work are significant because they can be readily used in evaluations of a given type of gas turbine in a combined cycle. The sensitivity of the efficiency and specific work to each key input parameter is reported.

The use of superheated steam as a coolant can provide some performance advantages since the steam raised in a waste heat boiler expands with the combustion gases, increases the turbine mass flow and also provides a certain amount of heat regeneration. Performance results are also reported for this steam cooled gas turbine operating with mixed working fluid.

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