A turbine airfoil usable in a turbine engine and having at least one ambient air cooling system is disclosed. At least a portion of the cooling system may include one or more cooling channels configured to receive ambient air at about atmospheric pressure. The ambient air cooling system may have a tip static pressure to ambient pressure ratio of at least 0.5, and in at least one embodiment, may include a tip static pressure to ambient pressure ratio of between about 0.5 and about 3.0. The cooling system may also be configured such that an under root slot chamber in the root is large to minimize supply air velocity. One or more cooling channels of the ambient air cooling system may terminate at an outlet at the tip such that the outlet is aligned with inner surfaces forming the at least one cooling channel in the airfoil to facilitate high mass flow.
Development of this invention was supported in part by the United States Department of Energy, Advanced Turbine Development Program, Contract No. DE-FC26-05NT42644. Accordingly, the United States Government may have certain rights in this invention.