This paper presents an investigation on the hot streak migration across rotor blade tip clearance in a high pressure gas turbine with different tip clearance heights. The blade geometry is taken from the first stage of GE-E3 turbine engine. Three tip clearances, 1.0%, 1.5%, and 2.5% of the blade span with a flat tip were investigated, respectively, and the uniform and nonuniform inlet temperature profiles were taken as the inlet boundary conditions. A new method for heat transfer coefficient calculation recommended by Maffulli and He has been adopted. By solving the unsteady compressible Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations, the time dependent solutions were obtained. The results indicate that the large tip clearance intensifies the leakage flow, increases the hot streak migration rate, and aggravates the heat transfer environment on the blade tip. However, the reverse secondary flow dominated by the relative motion of casing is insensitive to the change of tip clearance height. Attributed to the high-speed rotation of rotor blade and the low pressure difference between both sides of blade, a reverse leakage flow zone emerges over blade tip near trailing edge. Because it is possible for heat transfer coefficient distributions to be greatly different from heat flux distributions, it becomes of great concern to combine both of them in consideration of hot streak migration. To eliminate the effects of blade profile variation due to twist along the blade span on the aerothermal performance in tip clearance, the tested rotor (straight) blade and the original rotor (twisted) blade of GE-E3 first stage with the same tip profile are compared in this paper.

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