This paper focuses on the use of the CFD for improving a steam turbine preliminary design tool.
Three-dimensional RANS analyses were carried out in order to independently investigate the effects of profile, secondary flow and tip clearance losses, on the efficiency of two high-pressure steam turbine stages. The parametric study included geometrical features such as stagger angle, aspect ratio and radius ratio, and was conducted for a wide range of flow coefficients to cover the whole operating envelope. The results are reported in terms of stage performance curves, enthalpy loss coefficients and span-wise distribution of the blade-to-blade exit angles. A detailed discussion of these results is provided in order to highlight the different aerodynamic behavior of the two geometries.
Once the analysis was concluded, the tuning of a preliminary steam turbine design tool was carried out, based on a correlative approach. Due to the lack of a large set of experimental data, the information obtained from the post-processing of the CFD computations were applied to update the current correlations, in order to improve the accuracy of the efficiency evaluation for both stages. Finally, the predictions of the tuned preliminary design tool were compared with the results of the CFD computations, in terms of stage efficiency, in a broad range of flow coefficients and in different real machine layouts.