The steam turbine cooldown has a significant impact on the cyclic fatigue life. A lower initial metal temperature after standstill results in a higher temperature difference to be overcome during the next start-up. Generally, lower initial metal temperatures result in higher start-up stress. In order to optimize steam turbines for cyclic operation, it is essential to fully understand natural cooling, which is especially challenging for rotors. This paper presents a first-in-time application of a 2D numerical procedure for the assessment of the thermal regime during natural cooling, including the rotors, casings, valves, and main pipes. The concept of the cooling calculation is to replace the fluid gross buoyancy during natural cooling by an equivalent fluid conductivity that gives the same thermal effect on the metal parts. The fluid equivalent conductivity is calculated based on experimental data. The turbine temperature was measured with pyrometric probes on the rotor and with standard thermocouples on inner and outer casings. The pyrometric probes were calibrated with standard temperature measurements on a thermo well, where the steam transmittance and the rotor metal transmissivity were measured.

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