Gas turbines are important energy-converting equipment in many industries. The flow inside gas turbines is very complicated and the knowledge about the flow loss mechanism is critical to the advanced design. The current design system heavily relies on empirical formulas or Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS), which faces big challenges in dealing with highly unsteady complex flow and accurately predicting flow losses. Further improving the efficiency needs more insights into the loss generation in gas turbines. Conventional Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Simulation (URANS) methods have defects in modeling multi-frequency, multi-length, highly unsteady flow, especially when mixing or separation occurs, while Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) are too costly for the high-Reynolds number flow. In this work, the Delayed Detached Eddy Simulation (DDES) method is used with a low-dissipation numerical scheme to capture the detailed flow structures of the complicated flow in a high pressure turbine guide vane. DDES accurately predicts the wake vortex behavior and produces much more details than RANS and URANS. The experimental findings of the wake vortex length characteristics, which RANS and URANS fail to predict, are successfully captured by DDES. Accurate flow simulation builds up a solid foundation for accurate losses prediction. Based on the detailed DDES results, loss analysis in terms of entropy generation rate is conducted from two aspects. The first aspect is to apportion losses by its physical resources: viscous irreversibility and heat transfer irreversibility. The viscous irreversibility is found to be much stronger than the heat transfer irreversibility in the flow. The second aspect is weighing the contributions of steady effects and unsteady effects. Losses due to unsteady effects account for a large part of total losses. Effects of unsteadiness should not be neglected in the flow physics study and design process.
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