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40-in. (1016 mm) titanium last stage bucket Figure 21. Comparison of single-flow 42-inch (1067 mm) and double-flow 26-inch (660 mm) units Figure 22. Bucket tip leakage controls Figure 23. Slant tooth bucket tip seal test results — optimum tooth spacing Figure 24. Side entry last stage bucket cover design tip leakage control Figure 25. CFD analysis of bucket tip seal passage — velocity vectors Figure 26. Influence of tip seal reentry flow on stage exit flow angle -comparison of quasi-3D analysis test data Figure 27.

Cross-section of low speed research turbine test facility measurement techniques, including laser Doppler velocimetry, are used to gather detailed information about the flowfield. FIELD TEST PROGRAMS GE recognizes that the true measure of the performance of a new design feature is its performance in the field. Analytical predictions and laboratory tests are extremely valuable, but it is the field test that once and for all demonstrates the value and integrity of a new feature. Consequently, extensive precision field tests are performed on all of the new steam path design features described in this paper as they are introduced in actual operating units.

7. 8. 9. CONCLUSION In this paper, recent advances in GE steam path technology have been described. Advanced computational fluid dynamics codes are being used to develop new aerodynamic design concepts to dramatically improve efficiency. Extensive laboratory test programs are being performed to verify the predicted efficiency gains of new design features, and to validate the CFD codes. Unique design automation and optimization tools have been developed that allow fully customized and cost-effective turbines to be designed in short cycle times to meet the needs of individual customers.

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