Serpentine, varying aspect ratio cooling passages, are typically used in cooling advanced gas turbine blades. These passages are usually connected by sharp, 180-deg bends. In the open literature, most of the internal cooling studies use a fixed cross-sectional area for multi-pass channels. Studies that use varying aspect ratio channels, along with a guide (turn) vane to direct the flow with turning, are scarce. In general, studies show that the incorporation of turning vanes in the bend region of a multi-pass channel keeps the heat transfer rate high while reducing pressure loss. Therefore, the current study investigates the effect of using different guide (turn) vane designs on both the detailed heat transfer distribution and pressure loss in a multi-pass channel with an aspect ratio of (4:1) in the entry passage and (2:1) in the second passage downstream of the vane (s). The first vane configuration is one solid-vane with a semi-circular cross-section connecting the two flow passages. The second configuration has three broken-vanes with a quarter-circular cross-section; two broken vanes are located downstream in the first passage (entering the turn), and one broken vane is upstream in the second passage (exiting the turn). For a Reynolds number range 15,000 to 45,000, detailed heat transfer distributions were obtained on all surfaces within the flow passages by using a transient liquid crystal method. The results show that the turning vane configurations have large effects on the heat transfer, in the turning bend and second passage, and the overall pressure drop. Results show that including the semi-circular vane in the turning region of a multi-pass channel enhanced the overall heat transfer by around 29% with a reduction in pressure loss by around 20%. Moreover, results show that the quarter-circular vane design provides higher overall averaged heat transfer enhancement than the semi-circular vane design by around 9% with penalty of higher pressure drop by 6%, which yields higher thermal performance by 7%, over the Reynolds number range.

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