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GPPS Journal Papers

Effect of purge air on rotor endwall heat transfer of an axial turbine

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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 1, Rainer Schädler 1, Anestis I. Kalfas 2, Reza S. Abhari 1, Sebastian Hohenstein 3, Gregor Schmid 3 and Ewald Lutum 4

1 LEC ETH Zürich, ML J 41.2, Sonneggstrasse 3, Zürich, CH-8092, Switzerland
2 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 541 24, Greece
3 Siemens AG, Mellinghofer Str. 55, Mülheim an der Ruhr, 45473, Germany
4 MTU AeroEngines AG, Dachauer Str. 665, München, 80995, Germany


In order to gain in cycle efficiency, turbine inlet temperatures tend to rise, posing the challenge for designers to cool components more effectively. Purge flow injection through the rim seal is regularly used in gas turbines to limit the ingestion of hot air in the cavities and prevent overheating of the disks and shaft bearings. The interaction of the purge air with the main flow and the static pressure field of the blade rows results in a non-homogenous distribution of coolant on the passage endwall which poses questions on its effect on endwall heat transfer. A novel measurement technique based on infrared thermography has been applied in the rotating axial turbine research facility LISA of the Laboratory for Energy Conversion (LEC) of ETH Zürich. A 1.5 stage configuration with fully three-dimensional airfoils and endwall contouring is integrated in the facility. The effect of different purge air mass flow rates on the distribution of the heat transfer quantities has been observed for the rated operating condition of the turbine. Two-dimensional distributions of Nusselt number and adiabatic wall temperature show that the purge flow affects local heat loads. It does so by acting on the adiabatic wall temperature on the suction side of the passage until 30% of the axial extent of the rotor endwall. This suggests the possibility of effectively employing purge air also as rotor platform coolant in this specific region. The strengthening of the secondary flows due to purge air injection is observed, but plays a negligible role in varying local heat fluxes. For one test case, experimental data is compared to high-fidelity, unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes simulations performed on a model of the full 1.5 stage configuration.


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