Aerodynamic Investigations of a High Pressure Turbine Vane with Leading Edge Contouring at Endwall in a Transonic Annular Sector Cascade

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Efficiency improvement is an important aspect to reduce the use of fossil-based fuel in order to achieve a sustainable future. Gas turbines are mainly fossil-fuel based turbomachines, and, therefore, efficiency improvement is still the subject of many on-going research activities in the gas turbine community. This study is incorporated into a research project that investigates design possibilities of efficiency improvement at the high pressure turbine (HPT) stage.In the search for HPT-stage efficiency gains, leading edge (LE) contouring near the endwall is one of the methods found in the published literature that has shown a potential to increase the efficiency by decreasing the amount of secondary losses. The overall objective of the thesis is to contribute to the development of gas turbine efficiency improvements in relation to the HPT stage. Particularly, the influence of the LE fillet on losses and flow structure is investigated concentrating on the secondary flow. The core investigation is of an experimental nature. Detailed investigations of the flow field in an annular sector cascade (ASC) are presented with and without the LE fillet, using a geometric replica of a modern gas turbine nozzle guide vane (NGV) with a contoured tip endwall. Furthermore, a separate investigation is performed on a hub-cooled NGV, which focuses on endwalls, specifically the interaction between the hub film cooling and the mainstream (MS).The experimental investigations indicate that the LE fillet has no significant effect on the flow and energy losses of the investigated NGV. The reason why the LE fillet does not affect the losses might be due to the use of a three-dimensional vane with an existing typical fillet over the full hub and tip profile. Findings also reveal that the complex secondary flow depends heavily on the incoming boundary layer. Oil flow visualisation for the baseline case displays a clear saddle point, with a separation line where the horseshoe (HS) vortex separates into the suction side (SS) and the pressure side (PS), whereas for the filleted case, the saddle point is not noticeable. The investigation of a cooled vane, using a tracer gas carbon dioxide (CO2), reveals that the upstream platform film coolant is concentrated along the SS surfaces and does not reach the PS of the hub surface, leaving it less protected from the hot gas.