Steam Turbine Efficiency Testing at Nuclear Facility


The Panametrics PT878 Ultrasonic Flow MeterA Swedish nuclear power station contracted RS Hydro to install multiple PT878 clamp on flow meters as part of a testing regime for a new impeller design.

Equipment Used

The Panametrics PT878 Ultrasonic Flow Meter.


RS Hydro were contacted by Sulzer Pumps to undertake extensive testing as part of a trial to utilise a new impeller design to improve energy production by 2-3%. Although no specific details can be provided about the location or application. However, it was an extremely challenging application!

Highly trained RS Hydro personnel installed several PT878 clamp on flowmeters immediately downstream of the turbine impellers. The research behind the new impeller design was carried out in Sweden by specialist consultants. Testing was conducted over several days before and after the new impellers were installed. However, the only location to test the turbines was immediately downstream of the outlet which was a 300-600mm diameter expansion with very little straight pipe thereafter. Due to the location, the Reynolds Correction factor on the flow meter was turned off as the frictional forces of the pipe would not induce a fully developed flow profile.

The location was conclusively recognised as being a very poor location but the results before and after the impeller was fitted, with an unchanged PT878 installed was very conclusive. It was possible to attain an extra 3% more energy from the new design! With velocities approaching 6 meters per second in a 600mm pipe with very bad hydraulics, it is obvious why the PT878 is the preferred portable ultrasonic flow meter for difficult applications.