In a gas turbine engine, high levels of vorticity are intentionally generated in the combustor to improve combustion efficiency and stability, but are also convected downstream to the turbine vanes. In the subsequent interaction with the vanes, both pressure and temperature fluctuations are critically important, since the vane material is subject to gas temperatures exceeding its melting temperature. The vane is designed with advanced internal and external cooling schemes to allow for extended operation, but industry trends of shorter combustor lengths and more vigorous fluid mixing mechanisms in the combustor indicate that understanding the nature of the unsteady vorticity interaction with the vane thermal boundary layer is more critical than ever. The goal of this work is to better understand the behavior of large-scale structures from the combustor as they interact with the turbine, and how these fluid-mechanic effects drive changes in heat transfer in the turbine.
In collaboration with Dr. Stephen Lynch.
Leonetti, M., Lynch, S., O’Connor, J., Bradshaw, S. (2017) “Combustor Dilution Hole Placement and Its Effect on the Turbine Inlet Flowfield.” Journal of Propulsion and Power, 33(3), p. 764-775.