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Numerical Sensitivity Studies on Nucleation of Droplets in Steam Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
A. T. Sriram, Hiteshkumar Mistry, Subhrajit Dey

General Electric Company, Bangalore, KA, India

Francisco Moraga

General Electric Company, Niskayuna, NY

Paper No. POWER2011-55269, pp. 559-565; 7 pages
  • ASME 2011 Power Conference collocated with JSME ICOPE 2011
  • ASME 2011 Power Conference, Volume 1
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 12–14, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4459-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This work presents the results of canonical test cases that highlight the importance of nucleation bulk surface tension factor (NBTF) on CFD predictions for condensing flows in steam turbines. Numerical simulations are carried out on nozzle and cascade geometries to explore modeling effects on the condensation of water vapor. The recent Euler-Euler approach [10] for modeling homogeneous condensation provides better results than the equilibrium assumption. Modeling of the nucleation rate plays a significant role in the non-equilibrium approach and it depends on the free surface energy of each droplet. NBTF is introduced in the classical homogeneous condensation nucleation rate expression to control the intensity of the homogeneous condensation event [3, 10]. It is observed that the NBTF controls the location of the condensation front, degree of super cooling, wetness fraction and droplet size. In addition, no unique value of NBTF is found in the range of simulations to match the experimental observations. Finally, by increasing the value of NBTF from 0.7 to 1.0 for a particular nozzle case, the location of condensation front is shown to be delayed by 60 mm and super cooling increased by 20%. This in turn will affect quantities such as the flow angle, pressure at the blade row exit and the thermodynamic loss which are relevant for the turbine designer.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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