Clarifying the Physics of Flow Separations in Steam Turbine Inlet Valves at Part Load Operation and Improved Design Considerations

[+] Author and Article Information
Clemens Bernhard Domnick

University of Duisburg-Essen Lotharstrasse 1 47057 Duisburg Germany

Dieter Brillert

University of Duisburg-Essen Lotharstrasse 1 47057 Duisburg Germany

Christian Musch

Siemens AG Rheinstrasse 100 45478 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Friedrich-Karl Benra

University of Duisburg-Essen Lotharstrasse 1 47057 Duisburg Germany

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036263 History: Received November 14, 2016; Revised February 26, 2017


In steam turbine inlet valves used to adjust the power output of large steam turbines the through-flow is reduced by lowering the valve plug and hence reducing the cross-sectional area between the plug and the seat. At throttled operation a supersonic jet is formed between the plug and the seat. This jet bearing tremendous kinetic energy flows into the valve diffuser where it is dissipated. Depending on the dissipation process a certain portion of the kinetic energy is converted to sound and subsequently to structural vibration, which can be harmful to the valve plug. The flow topology in the valve diffuser has a strong influence on the conversion of kinetic energy to sound and hence vibrations. Several studies show that an annular flow attached to the wall of the valve diffuser causes significantly less noise and vibrations than a detached flow in the core of the diffuser. The relation between the flow topology and the vibrations is already known, but the physics causing the transition from the undesired core flow to the desired annular flow and the dependency on the design are not fully understood. The paper presented here reveals the relation between the flow topology in the steam valve and the separation of underexpanded Coand? wall jets. The physics of the jet separations are clarified and a method to predict the flow separations with a low numerical effort is shown. Based on this safe operational ranges free of separations can be predicted and improved design considerations can be made.

Siemens AG
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