Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Wang, Ting


In the modern advanced gas turbines, the turbine inlet temperature may exceed 1500°C as a requirement to increase power output and thermal efficiency. Therefore, it is imperative that the blades and vanes are cooled so they can withstand these extreme temperatures. Film cooling is a cooling technique widely used in high-performance gas turbines. However, the film cooling effectiveness has almost reached plateau, resulting in a bottleneck for continuous improvement of gas turbines' efficiency.

In this study, an innovative cooling scheme, mist film cooling is investigated through experiments. A small amount of tiny water droplets with an average diameter about 10-15 µm (mist) is injected into the cooling air to enhance the cooling performance. A Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) system is used for droplet measurements. Mist film cooling performance is evaluated and compared against air-only film cooling. This study continues the previous work by (a) adding fan-shaped holes and comparing their cooling performance with the round holes, (b) extending the length of the test section to study the performance farther downstream the injection holds, and (c) using computational simulation to investigate the feasibility of transporting mist to the film cooling holes through gas turbine inside passages.

The results show that, with an appropriate blowing ratio, the fan-shaped holes performs about 200% better than round holes in cooling effectiveness and adding 10% (wt.) mist can further enhance cooling effectiveness 170% in average. Farther downstream away from the injection holes (X/D> 50), mist cooling enhancement prevails and actually increases significantly. PDPA measurements have shed lights to the fundamental physics of droplet dynamics and their interactions with thermo-flow fields. These experimental results lead to either using lower amount of cooling air or use fewer number of cooing holes rows. This means higher gas turbine power output, higher thermal efficiency, and longer components life which will reflect as a cheaper electricity bill.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) showed that it is feasible to transport the water mist, with initial diameters ranging from 30 µm-50 µm and mist ratio of 10-15%, to the cooling holes on the surface of the turbine vanes and rotors to provide the desired film cooling.

Key words: Gas Turbines, Heat Transfer, Film / mist Cooling, Experimental Study, Mist Transport, CFD, PDPA.


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