The numerical modeling of heat transfer on the suction side of a cooled gas turbine blade is one of the more difficult problems in engineering. The main reason is believed to be the transition from laminar to turbulent flow and the inability of standard Navier–Stokes solvers to predict the transition. This paper proves that sudden changes in heat transfer on the suction side of a turbine blade can indeed also be caused by localized shocks disrupting the boundary layer. In contrast to transition, the position of these shocks and the effect of the shocks on the pressure distribution and heat transfer rate can be predicted to within an acceptable degree of accuracy using standard Navier–Stokes solvers. Two well-documented case studies from the literature are used to prove that the pressure distribution around the profile can be predicted accurately when compared to experimental data. At the same time this method can be used to capture sudden changes in heat transfer rate caused by localized shocks. The conclusion from this study is that localized shock waves close to the suction side surface of a turbine blade can have the same effect on the heat transfer rate to the blade as transition.

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