A procedure has been developed to optimise the design of an axial turbine stage. A standard, streamline curvature throughflow code, with standard loss correlations, was combined with a simple parameterisation of the geometry and a standard, constrained minimisation routine. An analytic differentiation of the loss correlations was also carried out to provide insight into the influence of each of the flow variables on the stage performance. The complete procedure has been demonstrated on a single high pressure axial steam turbine stage. The initial and optimised configurations for the stage were then analysed using a 3D Navier-Stokes solver. The results confirm the improved performance and give some additional insight into the origin of the benefits.

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