The development of a highly flexible modular system (‘Building Block’) was initiated in the early 1970s at Siemens and was driven by the demand to match the flow geometry of a turbine to the particular application, to assure a high degree of reliability and at the same time keep the manufacturing costs and delivery periods in line with market needs.
While the driver itself for a modular system remains valid, the application range for industrial steam turbines has expanded. Today, generator drives are required with power outputs up to 250 MW, reheat cycles may also have to be considered, and there is a demand for reduced start-up times. It goes without saying that customers are focusing on highly efficient turbine train solutions to reduce their OPEX (operational expenditure).
With regard to compressor drives, the traditional requirements are still dictated by the compression process: fixed or variable speed, process steam parameters from low pressure (LP) to very high pressure (VHP), a flexible operating range from part load to full load, steam extractions and admissions, and double-end drive. In addition, comparably new markets such as the air separation market with steam-turbine-driven air compressor trains require the highest turbine efficiencies.
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