Cooled Turbine Tip Design: Aerothermal Optimization for Engine Transients
thesisposted on 12.10.2021, 12:35 authored by Valeria AndreoliValeria Andreoli
This thesis presents optimal cooled turbine tip designs that demonstrate a superior performance during an entire engine transient. The improvement of efficiency is obtained by optimizing the shape of the cooled turbine tip, considering all the phenomena associated with clearance variations. Optimal turbine blade tip designs not only enhance the aerodynamic performance, but they also reduce the thermal loads on one of the most vulnerable parts of the gas turbine. A multi-objective optimization was performed using a differential evolution strategy and Computational Fluid Dynamics software to solve Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations. The results showed the strong impact of the over-tip coolant flows on the over-tip flow field. A detailed model for the scaling of tip convective heat flux based on Green’s functions was developed to predict the overtip heat flux at various gaps and engine conditions. The turbine aerothermal models integrated with the mathematical model of the entire engine were used to assess the effect of an improved turbine design on the overall gas turbine performance. Finally, this thesis proposes an experimental approach to validate the numerical models of the turbine aerothermal performance. This experimental procedure relies on an extensive computational analysis which resulted in the development of an unprecedented facility. This new facility, built at Purdue University, will be extensively used to evaluate transients with ad-hoc instrumentation designed using CFD. This work proposes a methodology to extrapolate the experimental results to engine conditions, in terms of aerothermal performance focusing on tip flow.