Turbine inlet conditions in lean-burn aeroengine combustors are highly swirled and present nonuniform temperature distributions. Uncertainty and lack of confidence associated with combustor-turbine interaction affect significantly engine performance and efficiency. It is well known that only Large-eddy and scale-adaptive simulations (SAS) can overcome the limitations of Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) in predicting the combustor outlet conditions. However, it is worth investigating the impact of such improvements on the predicted aerothermal performance of the nozzle guide vanes (NGVs), usually studied with RANS-generated boundary conditions. Three numerical modelling strategies were used to investigate a combustor-turbine module designed within the EU Project FACTOR: (i) RANS model of the NGVs with RANS-generated inlet conditions; (ii) RANS model of the NGVs with scale-adaptive simulation (SAS)-generated inlet conditions; (iii) SAS model inclusive of both combustor and NGVs. It was shown that estimating the aerodynamics through the NGVs does not demand particularly complex approaches, in contrast to situations where turbulent mixing is key. High-fidelity predictions of the turbine entrance conditions proved very beneficial to reduce the discrepancies in the estimation of adiabatic temperature distributions. However, a further leap forward can be achieved with an integrated simulation, capable of reproducing the transport of unsteady fluctuations generated from the combustor through the turbine, which play a key role in presence of film cooling. This work, therefore, shows how separate analysis of combustor and NGVs can lead to a poor estimation of the thermal loads and ultimately to a wrong thermal design of the cooling system.

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