Film cooling is an essential cooling method to prevent high-pressure turbine blade from melting down due to the high inlet temperature. In order to improve the film cooling efficiency, several flow control methods have been proposed. In this paper, large-eddy simulations are performed to study the effectiveness of a vortex generator (VG) and a semi-sphere installed downstream of the cooling jet. Before the detailed analyses, the numerical framework is validated against the available experimental data. Both the laminar and turbulent approaching boundary layers are considered. The turbulent boundary layer is generated by a numerical plasma actuator. After validation, the influence of VG and semi-sphere on the film cooling efficiency at various blowing ratios are analyzed. It is found that a counter-rotating vortex pair (CVP) is formed downstream and its strength increases with the blowing ratio in the configuration without VG/semi-sphere. When the VG is installed, it produces another vortex pair that rotates in the reverse direction of the CVP, which reduces the CVP strength and increases the lateral diffusion of the coolant. As a result, the film cooling efficiency is greatly improved, especially at a higher blowing ratio. For the case with a semi-sphere, the film cooling efficiency is also improved, especially at low–medium blowing ratios. However, it is not as effective as the VG in terms of enhancing cooling efficiency. In addition, the total pressure loss is calculated to examine the aerodynamic penalty associated with the VG and semi-sphere. It is found that the total pressure loss increased by only 1% due to the VG or semi-sphere, within the range of blowing ratio investigated in the current study. Considering the overall performance and the feasibility of being applied in practice, a semi-sphere installed downstream of the cooling hole is a promising method to improve the cooling efficiency.

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