Calculating Sections in Steam Turbines

9 Section Axial Steam Turbine
9 Section Axial Steam Turbine

What’s a better way to begin our brand new turbomachinery blog then by addressing a common design question about something we are very familiar with – steam turbines?

Many times the question, “How many calculation sections do you recommend for the (insert any number here)-stage steam turbine?” travels through our tech support emails and we always answer our clients with what we think is best practice.

We agree that your simulations should begin with 3 sections to do your preliminary design work and to establish a working model. Once this model has been established, it’s best to use 9 to 11 sections for more detailed work. More sections may be needed for turbines with relatively long blades with a diameter and blade length ratio less than 10.

Here’s another tip: If you are designing a turbine that has a cylindrical shape for the first few stages, search for a “Prismatic” option in your software suite during slicing. In this case you’ll only have to deal with 1 mean section which will then be copied to other sections of this airfoil and this can save you some time!

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