Discrete Element Roughness Modeling for Design Optimization of Additively and Conventionally Manufactured Internal Turbine Cooling Passages


A 3-D example of an engine scale turbine that will be used for heat transfer and pressure drop testing.
A 3-D example of an engine scale turbine that will be used for heat transfer and pressure drop testing.
Pennsylvania State University
Website:  The Pennsylvania State University
Award Number:  FE0031280
Project Duration:  10/01/2017 – 09/30/2020
Total Award Value:  $750,740
DOE Share:  $600,000
Performer Share:  $150,740
Technology Area:  Advanced Turbines
Key Technology:  Advanced Combustion Turbines
Location:  University Park, Pennsylvania

Project Description

Pennsylvania State University will deliver a computational 3-D model set that can be implemented within current turbine manufacturing design practices. To achieve this, they will first produce four engine-scale turbine cooling passage configurations and cooling hole geometry configurations using additive manufacturing techniques representative of current gas turbine practice. They will then advance, validate, and apply volumetric based Discrete Element Roughness Modeling (DERM) to engine-scale turbine blade cooling passages, and carry out validation quality local flow and heat transfer measurements using geometrically up-scaled hardware in facilities at Baylor University, and then develop optimized designs for cooling passage and cooling hole geometries that accommodate the critically important and mechanistically modeled effects of the complex roughness field that arises in Powder Bed Fusion manufacturing.

Project Benefits

Anticipated benefits from projects funded through the University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) Program include development of technologies that will accelerate turbine performance, efficiency, and emissions reduction beyond the current-state-of-the-art and reduce the risk to market for novel and advanced turbine-based power generation. In addition, the UTSR Program seeks to maintain and enhance U.S. university-based turbine science capabilities to ensure a world-class scientific workforce for future generations. UTSR is a component of NETL’s Advanced Turbines Program that manages a portfolio of projects designed to remove environmental concerns over the future use of fossil fuels by developing revolutionary, near-zero-emission advanced turbines technologies.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Patcharin Burke: patcharin.burke@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Richard Dennis: richard.dennis@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Robert Kunz: Rfk102@psu.edu

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