A novel internal cooling structure has been raised recently to enhance internal cooling effectiveness and reduce coolant requirement without using film cooling. This study mainly focuses on verifying the actual cooling performance of the structure and investigating the heat transfer mechanism of the leading edge part of the structure, named bended channel cooling. The cooling performances of the first stage of GE-E3 turbine with three different blade leading edge cooling structures (impingement cooling, swirl cooling and bended channel cooling) were simulated using the conjugate heat transfer method. Furthermore, the effects of jetting orifice geometry and channel Reynolds number were studied with simplified models to illustrate the flow and heat transfer characteristics of the bended channel cooling.

The results show that the novel internal cooling structure has obvious advantages on the blade leading edge and suction side under operating condition. The vortex core structure in the bended channel depends on orifice width, but not channel Reynolds number. With the ratio of orifice width to outer wall thickness smaller than a critical value of 0.5, the coolant flows along the external surface of the channel in the pattern of “inner film cooling”, which is pushed by centrifugal force and minimizes the mixing with spent cooling air. Namely, the greatly organized coolant flow generates higher cooling effectiveness and lower coolant demand. Both the Nusselt number on the channel surfaces and total pressure loss increase significantly when the orifice width falls or channel Reynolds increases, but the wall jet impingement distance appears to be less influential.

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