Title page for ETD etd-12142005-142556

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cardwell, Nicholas Don
Author's Email Address ncardwel@vt.edu
URN etd-12142005-142556
Title Effects of Realistic First-Stage Turbine Endwall Features
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Thole, Karen A. Committee Chair
O'Brien, Walter F. Jr. Committee Co-Chair
Vick, Brian L. Committee Member
  • film-cooling
  • vane endwalls
  • surface roughness
  • gas turbines
Date of Defense 2005-12-09
Availability unrestricted
The modern gas turbine engine requires innovative cooling techniques to protect its internal components from the harsh operating environment typically seen downstream of the combustor. Much research has been performed on the design of these cooling techniques thus allowing for combustion temperatures higher than the melting point of the parts within the turbine. As turbine inlet temperatures and efficiencies continue to increase, it becomes vitally important to correctly and realistically model all of the turbine's external cooling features so as to provide the most accurate representation of the associated heat transfer to the metal surfaces. This study examines the effect of several realistic endwall features for a turbine vane endwall. The first study addresses the effects of a mid-passage gap, endwall misalignment, and roughness on endwall film-cooling. The second study focuses on the effect of varying the combustor-to-turbine gap width. Both studies were performed in a large-scale low speed wind tunnel with the same vane geometry. Geometric and flow parameters were varied and the variation in endwall cooling effectiveness was evaluated.

Results from these studies show that realistic features, such as surface roughness, can reduce the effectiveness of endwall cooling designs while other realistic features, such as varying the combustor-to-turbine gap width, can significantly improve endwall cooling effectiveness. It was found that, for a given coolant mass flowrate, a narrow combustor-turbine gap width greatly increased the coverage area of the leaked coolant, even increasing adiabatic effectiveness upstream of the vane stagnation point. The turbine designer can also more efficiently utilize leaked coolant from the combustor-to-turbine gap by controlling endwall misalignment, thereby reducing the overall amount of film-cooling needed for the first stage.

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