The use of gas turbines for power generation and electricity production in both single cycle and combined cycle plant operation is extensive and will continue to globally grow into the future. Due to its high power density and ability to convert gaseous and liquid fuel into mechanical work with very high thermodynamic efficiencies, significant efforts continue today to further increase both the power output and thermodynamic efficiencies of the gas turbine. In particular, the aerothermal design of gas turbine components has progressed at a rapid pace in the last decade with all gas turbine manufacturers, in order to achieve higher thermodynamic efficiencies. This has been achieved by using higher turbine inlet temperatures and pressures, advanced turbine aerodynamics and efficient cooling systems of turbine airofoils, and advanced high temperature alloys, metallic coatings, and ceramic thermal barrier coatings. In this chapter, issues related to the thermal design of gas turbine blades are highlighted and several heat transfer technologies are examined, such as convective cooling, impingement cooling, film cooling, and application of thermal barrier coatings. Typical methods for validating the thermal designs of gas turbine airofoils are also outlined.
Part of the book: Heat Exchangers