Performance improvements of conventional gas turbines are becoming increasingly difficult and costly to achieve. Pressure Gain Combustion (PGC) has emerged as a promising technology in this respect, due to the higher thermal efficiency of the respective ideal gas turbine cycle. Previous cycle analyses considering turbine cooling methods have shown that the application of pressure gain combustion may require more turbine cooling air. This has a direct impact on the cycle efficiency and reduces the possible efficiency gain that can potentially be harvested from the new combustion technology. Novel cooling techniques could unlock an existing potential for a further increase in efficiency. Such a novel turbine cooling approach is the application of pulsed impingement jets inside the turbine blades.
In the first part of this paper, results of pulsed impingement cooling experiments on a curved plate are presented. The potential of this novel cooling approach to increase the convective heat transfer in the inner side of turbine blades is quantified. The second part of this paper presents a gas turbine cycle analysis where the improved cooling approach is incorporated in the cooling air calculation. The effect of pulsed impingement cooling on the overall cycle efficiency is shown for both Joule and PGC cycles. In contrast to the authors’ anticipation, the results suggest that for relevant thermodynamic cycles pulsed impingement cooling increases the thermal efficiency of Joule cycles more significantly than it does in the case of PGC cycles. Thermal efficiency improvements of 1.0 p.p. for pure convective cooling and 0.5 p.p. for combined convective and film with TBC are observed for Joule cycles. But just up to 0.5 p.p. for pure convective cooling and 0.3 p.p. for combined convective and film cooling with TBC are recorded for PGC cycles.