In most gas turbines, blade-cooling air is supplied from stationary pre-swirl nozzles that swirl the air in the direction of rotation of the turbine disc. In the “cover-plate” system, the pre-swirl nozzles are located radially inward of the blade-cooling holes in the disc, and the swirling air flows radially outwards in the cavity between the disc and a cover-plate attached to it.
In this combined computational and experimental paper, an axisymmetric elliptic solver, incorporating the Launder-Sharma and the Morse low-Reynolds-number k-ε turbulence models, is used to compute the flow and heat transfer. The computed Nusselt numbers for the heated “turbine disc” are compared with measured values obtained from a rotating-disc rig. Comparisons are presented, for a wide range of coolant flow rates, for rotational Reynolds numbers in the range 0.5 × 106 to 1.5 × 106, and for 0.9 < βp < 3.1, where βp is the pre-swirl ratio (or ratio of the tangential component of velocity of the cooling air at inlet to the system to that of the disc). Agreement between the computed and measured Nusselt numbers is reasonably good, particularly at the larger Reynolds numbers. A simplified numerical simulation is also conducted to show the effect of the swirl ratio and the other flow parameters on the flow and heat transfer in the cover-plate system.