State-of-the-art gas turbines (GT) operate at high temperatures that exceed the endurance limit of the material, and therefore the turbine components are cooled by the air taken from the compressor. The cooling provides a positive impact on the lifetime of GT but has
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State-of-the-art gas turbines (GT) operate at high temperatures that exceed the endurance limit of the material, and therefore the turbine components are cooled by the air taken from the compressor. The cooling provides a positive impact on the lifetime of GT but has a negative impact on its performance. In convection-cooled turbine blades the coolant is usually discharged through the trailing edge and leads to limitations on the minimal size of the trailing edge, thereby negatively affecting the losses. Moreover, the injection of cooling air in the turbine disturbs the main flow, and may lead to an additional increase in loss. Trailing edge loss is a significant part of the overall loss in modern gas turbines. This study comprises investigations of the unguided flow angle, the trailing edge shape, and cooling air injection through the trailing edge on the base pressure and profile losses in cooled blades. Some vane and blade cascades with different unguided turning angle and two shapes of trailing edges with and without coolant injection were studied both experimentally and numerically. This analysis provides a split of losses caused by different factors, and offers opportunities for efficiency and lifetime improvements of real engine designs/upgrades. In particular, it is shown that an increase in the unguided turning angle and the use of a round trailing edge result in a reduction of loss in case of a relatively thick trailing edge. Numerical investigation showed that an increase in the unguided turning angle at the initial transonic vane with a thick and blunt trailing edge, without a change in other basic geometric parameters, allowed for a significant reduction of the profile loss by about 3–4% at the exit Mach number M2is
= 0.7–1.0. Experimental investigation of four cascades with cooling air injection into the base flow through the trailing edge allowed us to validate the fact that in blades with a low level of base pressure Cpb
< −0.1 at
= 0 a non-monotonic dependence of the change of losses against relative cooling air mass flow
is observed. Firstly, the cooling air injection into wake increases base pressure and decreases losses; then the losses start to increase with increasing cooling mass flow due to the interaction between the main flow and the cooling air (mixing losses) and, finally, due to the cooling mass flow increase and momentum increase losses are decreased. In blades with an increased level of the base pressure coefficient Cpb
≥ −0.1 at
= 0 the cooling air injection results in an increase in losses right from the beginning of the injection and then, according to the cooling mass flow increase and momentum rise, losses decrease. It is also shown that injection through the trailing edge slot parallel to the main flow leads to a neutral loss impact and even a loss reduction in the subsonic range and a loss increase in the supersonic range of exit Mach numbers.