Internal cooling of gas turbine blade represents a challenging task involving several different phenomena as, among others, highly three-dimensional unsteady fluid flow, efficient heat transfer and structural design. This paper focuses on the analysis of the turbulent flow and heat transfer inside a typical wedge–shaped trailing edge cooling duct of a gas turbine blade. In the configuration under scrutiny the coolant flows inside the duct in radial direction and it leaves the blade through the trailing edge after a 90 deg turning.

At first an analysis of the flow and thermal fields in stationary conditions was carried out. Then the effects of rotational motion were investigated for a rotation number of 0.275. The rotation axis here considered is normal to the inflow and outflow bulk velocity, representing schematically a highly loaded blade configuration.

The work aimed to i) analyse the dynamic of the vortical structures under the influence of strong body forces and the constraints induced by the internal geometry and ii) to study the impact of such motions on the mechanisms of heat removal. The final aim was to verify the design of the equipment and to detect the possible presence of regions subjected to high thermal loads.

The analysis is carried out using the well assessed open source code OpenFOAM written in C++ and widely validated by several scientists and researchers around the world. The unsteadiness of the flow inside the trailing edge required to adopt models that accurately reconstructed the flow field. As the computational costs associated to LES (especially in the near wall regions) largely exceed the available resources, we chose for the simulation the SAS model of Menter, that was validated in a series of benchmark and industrially relevant test cases and allowed to reconstruct a part of the turbulence spectra through a scale-adaptive mechanism. Assessment of the obtained results with steady-state k-ω SST computations and available experimental results was carried out.

The present analysis demonstrated that a strong unsteadiness develops inside the trailing edge and that the rotation generated strong secondary motions that enhanced the dynamic of heat removal, leading to a less severe temperature distribution on the heated surface w.r.t the non rotating case.

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