Abstract

This paper describes a numerical investigation to study the effect of injecting mist (tiny water droplets, micrometers in size) into the cooling airstream to cool down gas turbine vanes. In this study, the conjugate heat transfer method is employed which consists of the simulation of the air/mist fluid flow inside and outside the vanes as well as the heat conduction through the vane body. The complete 3-D vane with internal cooling passages and external film cooling holes on the surface is simulated in a rotational periodic sector. The discrete phase model (DPM) is used to simulate and track the evaporation and movement of the tiny water droplets. The effects of different parameters such as the mist/air ratio (10–20%) and the mist droplets size (20–50μm) on mist cooling enhancement are investigated. The results show that by using a mist/air ratio of 10%, 15%, and 20% with 20 μm droplets size, on the pressure side, a maximum wall temperature reduction of 250 K, 340 K, and 450 K respectively can be achieved. On the suction side, the corresponding maximum wall temperature reductions are 160 K, 260 K, and 360 K, respectively. Using larger droplets of 50μm did not achieve better cooling enhancement because the droplets were rushed far away from the surface by the acceleration through the film cooling holes. Using the uniform droplet size distribution provides noticeably better cooling enhancement in the first 40% of the vane’s height (from the shroud) than the non-uniform droplet size distribution (Rosin-Rammler Distribution) does.

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