Abstract

This paper describes a numerical investigation to study the effect of injecting mist into the cooling air used to cool down rotating gas turbine blades. The conjugate heat transfer method is employed which consists of the simulation of the air/mist fluid flow inside and outside the blades as well as the heat conduction through the blade body. The complete 3-D blade with internal cooling passages and external film cooling holes on the surface and blade tip is simulated in a rotating, periodic sector of the blade. The discrete phase model (DPM) is used to simulate and track the evaporation and movement of the tiny water droplets. The rotation effect of the turbine blade is included in the simulation by using the moving reference frame method. The effects of different parameters such as the mist/air ratio (10-20%) and the mist droplets size (20-40 µm) on mist cooling enhancement are investigated. The results show that the mist cooling enhancements are about 10% to 25% on the outer surface of the blade and reach 50% in some locations inside the blade on the internal cooling passages walls. Most of the liquid droplets completely evaporate inside the internal cooling passages; only a limited amount of mist is able to escape from the film cooling holes to enhance the blade outer surface and blade tip cooling. The effect of 10% mist on enhanced cooling is also converted to an equivalent of a 30% reduction in cooling air flow.

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