The problem of accurately predicting the flow and heat transfer in the ribbed internal cooling duct of a rotating gas turbine blade is addressed with the use of large eddy simulations (LES). Four calculations of the developing flow region of a rotating duct with ribs on opposite walls are used to study changes in the buoyancy parameter at a constant rotation rate. The Reynolds number is 20,000, the rotation number is 0.3, and the buoyancy parameter is varied between 0.00, 0.25, 0.45, and 0.65. Previous experimental studies have noted that leading wall heat transfer augmentation decreases as the buoyancy parameter increases with low buoyancy, but heat transfer then increases with high buoyancy. However, no consistent physical explanation has been given in the literature. The LES results from this study show that the initial decrease in augmentation with buoyancy is a result of larger separated regions at the leading wall. However, as the separated region spans the full pitch between ribs with an increase in buoyancy parameter, it leads to increased turbulence and increased entrainment of mainstream fluid, which is redirected toward the leading wall by the presence of a rib. The impinging mainstream fluid results in heat transfer augmentation in the region immediately upstream of a rib. The results obtained from this study are in very good agreement with previous experimental results.

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