The requirements of improved heat transfer performance on turbine surfaces and internal cooling passages drive the research into exploring new methods for efficiency enhancements. Addition of ribbed structures inside the cooling ducts has proven to be most practical, which increases heat transfer from surfaces to fluid flow at the cost of some pressure loss. Many active and passive methods have been proposed for enhancing the heat transfer, where acoustic excitation has been recently shown to be an effective option. Moreover, the existing pressure fluctuations due to rotor-stator interactions can also be utilized as a source of excitation. However, the sensitivity of the phenomenon to various flow and geometric parameters has not been fully characterized.

The present study investigates various aspects of convective heat transfer enhancement and turbulent flow modulation caused by acoustic forcing on separating and reattaching flow over isolated rib obstacles. A parametric study is conducted; rib obstacles of various sizes and shapes (including rectangular, squared, triangular, semi-cylindrical, etc.) are installed in a low-speed, fully turbulent wind tunnel and measurements are taken at different velocities and excitation frequencies. Static pressure and spatially resolved surface temperature measurements are performed to quantify the ramifications of acoustic excitation on the wetted wall. Within the favorable Strouhal number range of 0.1–0.25, an optimum value of 0.16 is observed. It is shown that triangular ribs are more prone to acoustic heat transfer enhancement than rectangular or cylindrical perturbations. A linear correlation between static pressure recovery rate and acoustic heat transfer enhancement is observed, which is invariant to change in size/shape of the rib as well as flow and excitation parameters.

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