SoftInWay’s Role in Meeting the Future Needs of Steam Turbine Industry

Steam turbine technology has advanced significantly since it was first developed by Sir Charles Parson in 1884 [1]. The concept of impulse steam turbines was first demonstrated by Karl Gustaf Patrik de Laval in 1887. A pressure compounded steam turbine based on in de laval principle was developed by Auguste Rateau in 1896. Westinghouse was one of the earliest licensee for manufacturing steam turbines obtained from Sir Charles Parson and became one of the earliest Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in power generation and transmission.

Over the years, as steam turbine technology advanced, the design principles were based on either impulse type or reaction type with reaction type being more efficient. Though impulse was not as efficient as reaction type, it gained popularity due to lower cost and compact size. With advances in design and optimization methods being employed, the efficiency levels between these two types are not very distant, ranging between 2 – 5% based on the size and application.

With ever increasing global requirement for electricity, the demand for steam turbines increased and to augment the demand, many manufacturing companies were established with the majority manufacturing under license from global OEM’s like Westinghouse, General Electric, Siemens, Alstom etc. In the last few decades, some of these manufacturers who were under license from global OEM’s started developing their own designs, most of them by reverse engineering or scaling the existing designs due to the lack of both technology and extensive databases.

The global commitment and tighter regulatory norms to reduce emission norms has forced manufacturers to improve the efficiency of the steam turbines and significantly increase the investment on R&D. On the other hand, the increased number of players in the steam turbine industry has put a lot of pressures on the manufacturers to not only reduce cost, but also develop products with higher performance and reduced time to market.

SoftInWay, Inc. has significantly contributed to the changing needs of the industry by developing advanced turbomachinery software (AxSTREAM® – Platform for turbomachinery design, analysis and optimization) required for designing steam turbines with both impulse and reaction technology and also supporting the majority of OEM’s by providing engineering services in developing state of the art steam turbines from 50 kW to 1000 MW. In addition, SoftInWay has helped many manufacturers build competence in steam turbine design and development through customized training programs 

Since its launch in 2005 as a meanline software for the design of axial turbines, AxSTREAM® has progressed to cover the entire spectrum of steam turbine design from sizing and flow path design to developing advanced 3D blades with custom vortex, to designing the full rotor, to performing rotordynamic analysis – all in an integrated platform.

To learn more about how SoftInWay can help you design better machines with the least cost, please contact


[1] A Stodola (1927) Steam and Gas Turbines. McGraw-Hill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *