In order to meet the requirements of rising energy demand, one goal in the design process of modern steam turbines is to achieve high efficiencies. A major gain in efficiency is expected from the optimization of the last stage and the subsequent diffuser of a low pressure turbine (LP). The aim of such optimization is to minimize the losses due to separations or inefficient blade or diffuser design. In the usual design process, as is state of the art in the industry, the last stage of the LP and the diffuser is designed and optimized sequentially. The potential physical coupling effects are not considered. Therefore the aim of this paper is to perform both a sequential and coupled optimization of a low pressure steam turbine followed by an axial radial diffuser and subsequently to compare results. In addition to the flow simulation, mechanical and modal analysis is also carried out in order to satisfy the constraints regarding the natural frequencies and stresses. This permits the use of a meta-model, which allows very time efficient three dimensional (3D) calculations to account for all flow field effects.

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