Sensitivity and numerical stability of an algorithm are two of the most important criteria to evaluate its performance. For all published turbine flow models, except Wang method, can be named the “top-down” method (TDM) in which the performance of turbines is calculated from the first stage to the last stage row by row; only Wang method originally proposed by Yonghong Wang can be named the “bottom-up” method (BUM) in which the performance of turbines is calculated from the last stage to the first stage row by row. To find the reason why the stability of the two methods is of great difference, the Wang flow model is researched. The model readily applies to TDM and BUM. How the stability of the two algorithms affected by input error and rounding error is analyzed, the error propagation and distribution in the two methods are obtained. In order to explain the problem more intuitively, the stability of the two methods is described by geometrical ideas. To compare with the known data, the performance of a particular type of turbine is calculated through a series of procedures based on the two algorithms. The results are as follows. The more the calculating point approaches the critical point, the poorer the stability of TDM is. The poor stability can even cause failure in the calculation of TDM. However, BUM has not only good stability but also high accuracy. The result provides an accurate and reliable method (BUM) for estimating the performance of turbines, and it can apply to all one-dimensional performance calculation method for turbine.

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