The steam turbine is one of the most widely used energy conversion devices in the world, providing shaft power for electricity production, chemical processing, and HVAC systems. There are new opportunities in growing renewable and combined cycle applications. End-users are asking for energy efficiency improvements that require manufacturers to renew their experimentally verified design methods. A structured design approach was carried out along three integrated research thrusts. The first two thrusts, Turbine Performance Prediction and Measurement Planning, were carried out with the aim of supporting the theoretical modeling required for the third thrust, System Modeling. The primary use of the steam turbine test loop will be to improve performance prediction techniques. Thus the primary focus of the first thrust was to describe empirical loss correlations found in the literature. For the second thrust, a preliminary review of measurement codes and standards was carried out to determine their impact on overall test loop design. For the third thrust, quasi-steady theoretical models were derived from first principles for the turbine, condenser, pump, boiler, and pipe components using control volume analyses. The theoretical models were implemented in a new open source simulation environment that carries out the calculation process over a range of up-to three turbine model inputs. A parametric study was undertaken with the goal of defining preliminary design specifications for the test loop components. The test loop was simulated across a wide range of steady states for three different turbine blade configurations, each at three different values of the blade row enthalpy-loss coefficient. The parametric study demonstrates full coverage of possible turbine operating conditions. The results of the simulations were analyzed to narrow the required operating range of the test loop to a series of turbine test paths. The final operational envelope yielded a set of test loop component requirements for the condenser, pump, boiler, and dynamometer. These requirements were used to recommend off-the-shelf options available from manufacturers of each component type.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Steam turbines--Testing; Steam turbines--Computer simulation
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Guerrette, Jonathan, "Design of a test loop for performance testing of steam turbines under a variety of operating conditions" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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