The diffuser and exhaust of low pressure steam turbines show significant impact on the overall turbine performance. The amount of recovered enthalpy leads to a considerable increase of the turbine power output, and therefore a continuous focus of turbine manufacturers is put on this component. On the one hand, the abilities to aerodynamically design such components are improved, but on the other hand a huge effort is required to properly predict the resulting performance and to enable an accurate modeling of the overall steam turbine and therewith plant heat rate. A wide range of approaches is used to compute the diffuser and exhaust flow, with a wide range of quality. Today, it is well known and understood that there is a strong interaction of rear stage and diffuser flow, and the accuracy of the overall diffuser performance prediction strongly depends on a proper coupling of both domains. The most accurate, but also most expensive method is currently seen in a full annulus and transient coupling. However, for a standard industrial application of diffuser design in a standard development schedule, such a coupling is not feasible and more simplified methods have to be developed. The paper below presents a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of low pressure steam turbine diffusers and exhausts based on a direct coupling of the rear stage and diffuser using a novel multiple mixing plane (MMP). It is shown that the approach enables a fast diffuser design process and is still able to accurately predict the flow field and hence the exhaust performance. The method is validated against several turbine designs measured in a scaled low pressure turbine model test rig using steam. The results show a very good agreement of the presented CFD modeling against the measurements.
Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Low Pressure Steam Turbine Radial Diffuser Flow by Using a Novel Multiple Mixing Plane Based Coupling—Simulation and Validation
Contributed by the Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 16, 2015; final manuscript received July 21, 2015; published online October 21, 2015. Editor: David Wisler.
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Stein, P., Pfoster, C., Sell, M., Galpin, P., and Hansen, T. (October 21, 2015). "Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Low Pressure Steam Turbine Radial Diffuser Flow by Using a Novel Multiple Mixing Plane Based Coupling—Simulation and Validation." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. April 2016; 138(4): 041604. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4031388
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