Abstract

This paper presents a numerical study to investigate the feasibility of transporting water mist to the rotating blades of a high-pressure turbine. The idea of using mist film cooling to enhance conventional air cooling has been proven to be a feasible technique under laboratory conditions. However, there are challenges in implementing this scheme for real gas turbine systems. The first challenge is how to transport the mist to the rotating blades and the second challenge is delivering the mist to the injection holes and getting the particles to survive within the harsh gas turbine environment. Both a zero-dimensional mist evaporation analytical model and a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) scheme are employed for analysis. In the CFD simulation, the Lagrangian–Eulerian method is used along with the discrete phase model (DPM) to track the evaporation process of each individual water droplet. For transporting the mist to the blades, the high-pressure water mist is injected into the stream of cooling air extracted from the compressor through two different passages. The first passage passes through the rotor cover-plate cavity before entering the blade base. The second passage passes through a diaphragm box on the base of the second vane, then tangentially through a cooling passage in the rotating shaft, and eventually to the blade base. The results show that it is feasible to transport the mist from the turbine casing to the blade through both passages, provided that droplets with sufficient particle diameter and mist loading are used. The shorter passage, through the nozzle diaphragm, alleviates a lot of challenges facing the passage through the blade cavity and seems to be more practical. A side benefit of transporting mist through the internal passages is the additional cooling of the preswirler and rotor cover plates. The results are encouraging for implementing the mist cooling technique under real gas turbine conditions.

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