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The Turbine Thermal Management project is focused on basic and applied technology development in the areas of heat transfer, materials development, and secondary flow control. Specific objectives are as follows: 

Aerothermal and Heat Transfer: Identify internal and external airfoil cooling concepts that provide composite benefit for reduced cooling flow and heat management, and which can be commercially manufactured. At least one new turbine cooling technology concept will be developed and demonstrated under realistic engine operating conditions. Concepts include National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)-Regional University Alliance (RUA's) near-surface embedded micro-channel concept, porous media thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), and/or tripod-hole film cooling configurations. 

Coatings and Materials Development: Develop bond coat, diffusion barrier, and extreme temperature TBCs as an integrated composite-architecture for utilization in next generation land-based engines. Expand NETL-RUA's programmatic direction and focus through initiation of research on ceramic matrix composites and oxide dispersion strengthened material systems for use at temperatures exceeding 1400 ºC. The performance and extended durability of these materials systems are being assessed through bench-scale isothermal and thermal cycling/flux testing.

Design Integration and Testing: Utilizing enhanced heat transfer internal and film cooling designs, commercially cast coupon test articles for heat transfer assessment at near room temperature and at high temperature under pressurized combustion gas conditions generated in NETL's aerothermal test facility in Morgantown, WV.

Secondary Flow Rotating Rig: Design and construct a world-class test facility for testing new cooling improvement strategies for the turbine rotating blade platform, and develop performance data relevant to initial concept designs and/or platform modifications. The primary focus of the turbine test facility is to increase turbine efficiencies by using disruptive new designs in sealing the interfaces between stationary and rotating airfoil components. The main driver of this effort is development of new designs that will lead to reduction in fuel usage by an order of magnitude or more. The facility will include a section of a turbine including a vane/blade/vane (i.e., 1.5-stage turbine), which will be operated at conditions replicating those in a modern gas turbine engine.

In 2014, the Turbine Thermal Management project will begin to explore pressure gain combustion and advanced supercritical CO2 cycles as a possible means to contribute to overall improved plant operating efficiency.

NETL Regional University Alliance
Principal Investigator
Pete Strakey
Project Benefits

This project will identify the combination of internal and external cooling concepts that provide composite benefit for reduced cooling flow, heat management, and which can be commercially manufactured. Turbine aerodynamics and heat transfer research will develop advanced cooling technology that will allow for higher firing temperatures which translate into increased cycle efficiency. Specifically, this project will additionally investigate NETL-RUA’s near-surface embedded micro-channel (NSEMC) concept and/or tripod-hole, as well as internal cooling and film cooling configurations for cooling effectiveness and manufacturability.

Project ID