Title: Innovative methods for the passive and active control of flow

Title: Innovative methods for the passive and active control of flow and heat transfer for gas turbine
blade cooling
Dr. Abdessalem Bouferrouk [email protected]
Professor Yufeng Yao [email protected]
Modern gas turbine engines can operate at high temperatures close to 1700°C in order to improve
thermal efficiency and power output. The issue is, however, as the turbine inlet temperature
increases, there is a corresponding increase in the amount of heat transferred to the turbine blades.
As operating temperature is far above the melting point of existing materials, therefore, the blades
must be cooled to ensure safe operation. The blades are usually cooled by bleed air which is
extracted from the compressor of the engine. Various blade cooling techniques have been
developed over the years, e.g. rib turbulators, pin fins, dimpled surfaces, surfaces with arrays of
protrusions, swirl chambers, and surface roughness. However, given the complexity of the problem
(unsteady aerodynamics, mixed heat transfer modes), there remain open questions on the
effectiveness of various parameters that can influence the cooling process.
The aim of this project is to develop innovative cooling techniques based on passive and active
control methods which can increase gas turbine outputs and efficiencies, maintain the integrity of
the blades, and achieve minimum energy expenditure and plant capital costs. Key technologies to
investigate are passive cooling (internal and external to the blades) and active flow control using for
e.g. pulsed cooling jets. It is thus proposed to undertake numerical and experimental studies by
applying modern Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Computational Heat Transfer (CHT)
methods. The challenge is then how to combine CFD and CHT to simulate realistic flows at usually
high Reynolds numbers with passive and active flow control (using cooling jets). The expected
benefits are not only for aircraft applications but also for standalone gas turbine power plants used
for large scale electricity generation. Operating at higher temperatures via cooling reduce harmful
emissions, helping to create more sustainable energy conversion systems.