New combustion concepts towards lean burn aim at reducing peak temperatures and therefore emissions, especially nitrogen oxides. High swirl is required in order to enhance the mixing of fuel and air and thus, improve combustion and flame stability. In a numerical investigation of a turbine vane cascade the effect of such inlet swirl on aerodynamic losses, secondary flow pattern and heat transfer is investigated.

The computations are conducted prior to particle image velocimetry and five-hole-probe measurements in a cascade of six vane passages and swirl generators upstream of each passage. The analysis covers three constituent parts: First, different swirl intensities are simulated which resemble the situation in a real combustion chamber. Second, different clocking positions are investigated — the swirl cores are either aligned with the vane leading edge or with midpassage — and finally, swirl orientation as clockwise, anticlockwise and counter rotating swirl is analysed. Two-dimensional inlet boundary conditions are applied to model the discrete swirl cores. Furthermore, a comparison with circumferentially averaged as well as with axial inflow conditions is made.

Increasing the swirl number at the inlet boundary results in reduced heat transfer coefficient within the vane passage and higher pressure loss. Heat transfer through vanes and endwalls is maximal if the swirl generators are aligned with the vane leading edge and counter rotating swirl.

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