Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number DTI/CC/303
Title Enhanced Efficiency Steam Turbine Blading for Cleaner Coal Plant
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 20%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Coal, Coal combustion) 80%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 80%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr A (Andrew ) Fowler
No email address given
Alstom Power Ltd
Award Type 3
Funding Source DTI
Start Date 01 October 2001
End Date 01 March 2004
Duration 29 months
Total Grant Value £217,575
Industrial Sectors
Region West Midlands
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr A (Andrew ) Fowler , Alstom Power Ltd (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council) (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cranfield University (0.001%)
Web Site

The aim of this project is to increase the efficiency of the short height stages typically found in high pressure steam turbine cylinders. This will directly lead to a reduction in the amount of coal required to produce electrical power, resulting in lower power station emissions. In order to do this, the following tasks must be undertaken:

  • increase the accuracy and execution speed of in-house CFD codes
  • develop new Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) techniques to efficiently produce model turbine blade rows with highly curved 3-D blades
  • optimise existing 3-D fixed blade designs to improve performance and gain better understanding of how to deal with very short height blading
  • produce a novel design for very short height fixed blades
  • perform a model air turbine test on the new design of fixed blade to assess the performance benefit gained from it

Council for the Central Laboratory for the Research Council (CCLRC) will produce a parallel processor version of the ALSTOM GENESIS viscous flow solver and assess the optimum hardware to run the code on a cost per calculation basis. ALSTOM s patented controlled flow fixed blades already give a significant performance increase. Further optimisation of controlled flow designs will lead directly to even greater improvements in cylinder efficiency.

The short height blades in the high pressure cylinder of a steam turbine have a lower efficiency than longer blades due to the increased effect of secondary flow or endwall losses. A novel 3-D design for early high pressure fixed blades will be developed that will lead to a significant improvement in overall cylinder efficiency.

The final measure of success of the project will be a model turbine test of the novel design of a very short height fixed blade. This will provide a direct m easurement of the benefit to be gained from using the new design.

The benefits of the project include:

  • reduces power station emissions through more efficient use of fuel
  • keeps the UK steam turbine industry at the forefront of technology
  • increases the value of retrofit solution offered to customers (typically 700 per kilowatt)
  • maintains ALSTOM s competitive advantage in the impulse retrofitsteam turbine market. Last year ALSTOM won ove rseas orders worth over 42 million in thisarea of the company s business
Publications Related PublicationDTI (2002) Enhanced Efficiency Steam Turbine Blading For Cleaner Coal Plant: Project Profile 317. DTI Cleaner Coal Technology Programme, URN 02/636, DTI, UK (PDF 524 KB)
Related PublicationDTI (2005) Enhanced Efficiency Steam Turbine Blading For Cleaner Coal Plant: Project Summary 317. DTI Cleaner Coal Technology Programme, DTI/Pub FES 05/954, DTI, UK (PDF 410 KB)
Final Report Fowler, A, Bell, D, Cao, C, Fowler, R, Oliver, P, Greenough, C & Timmis, P (2005). Enhanced Efficiency Steam Turbine Blading - Cleaner Coal Plant. Report No. COAL R283 DTI/Pub URN 05/658, DTI, UK (PDF 633 KB)
Added to Database 01/01/07