A method is provided for controlling cooling air flow for pressure modulation of turbine components, such as the turbine outer sidewall cavities. The pressure at which cooling and purge air is supplied to the turbine outer side wall cavities is modulated, based on compressor discharge pressure (Pcd), thereby to generally maintain the back flow margin (BFM) so as to minimize excessive leakage and the consequent performance deterioration. In an exemplary embodiment, the air pressure within the third stage outer side wall cavity and the air pressure within the fourth stage outer side wall cavity are each controlled to a respective value that is a respective prescribed percentage of the concurrent compressor discharge pressure. The prescribed percentage may be determined from a ratio of the respective outer side wall pressure to compressor discharge pressure at Cold Day Turn Down (CDTD) required to provide a prescribed back flow margin.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-FC21-95MC31176 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.