The unsteady flow in inlet valves for large steam turbines used in power stations was investigated using the method of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). As the topology of the flow depends on the stroke and the pressure ratio of the valve, the flow was investigated at several positions. Various turbulence models were applied to the valve to capture the unsteady flow field. Basic Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) models, the scale adaptive simulation (SAS), and the scale adaptive simulation with zonal forcing (SAS-F, also called ZFLES) were evaluated. To clarify the cause of flow-induced valve vibrations, the investigation focused on the pressure field acting on the valve plug. It can be shown that acoustic modes are excited by the flow field. These modes cause unsteady forces that act on the valve plug. The influence of valve geometry on the acoustic eigenmodes was investigated to determine how to reduce the dynamic forces. Three major flow topologies that create different dynamic forces were identified.

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