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Progress towards Understanding and Predicting Convection Heat Transfer in the Turbine Gas Path

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.1994.IntSympHetatTransTurb.280
pages 393-422

Robert J. Simoneau
NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

Frederick F. Simon
NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135


A new era is dawning in the ability to predict convection heat transfer in the turbine gas path. We feel that the technical community now has the capability to mount a major assault on this problem, which has eluded significant progress for a long time. In this paper we hope to make a case for this bold statement by reviewing the state of the art in three major and related areas, which we believe are indispensable to the understanding and accurate prediction of turbine gas path heat transfer configuration-specific experiments, fundamental physics and model development, and code development.
Historically, experimental work and the modeling of the physics have preceded the complex computational predictions of the phenomena. This is particularly true with respect to heat transfer. We will follow this historical approach and begin our review with the configuration-specific experiments, whose data have provided the big picture and guided both the fundamental modeling research and the code development. Following that, we will examine key modeling efforts and comment on what will be needed to incorporate them into the codes. We will then review progress and directions in the development of computer codes to predictturbine gas path heat transfer. Finally, we will cite examples and make observations on the more recent efforts to do all this work in a simultaneous, interactive, and more synergistic manner. We will conclude with an assessment of progress, suggestions for how to use the current state of the art, and recommendations for the future.
These topics will not all be treated with equal depth. The experimental work will be reviewed more globally, zooming in on detail when it is important to illustrate key physics. The modeling, on the other hand, will be discussed in more detail than the other areas because we believe that the key to a successful predictive capability lies in the modeling. Closure models will always be needed to complete the large computer codes, and the success of these codes will depend on the accuracy, reliability, range of applicability, and computational efficiency of the models. The choice of models is often dictated by the user's need to emphasize one of these criteria over the others. Accordingly, we do not anticipate a clear choice of models emerging in the near future, and we have elected to explore a fairly wide range of models in two key turbine flow physics arenas: transition and 3D endwall regions. Heat transfer code development is fairly new and will receive less depth. Here the emphasis will be on what models are used and what the codes can do, rather than on the algorithmic details of the codes.

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