In order to improve performance of heavy-duty gas turbines, in terms of power, efficiency and reliability, accurate calculation tools are required. During conceptual design phase, an effective integration of main GT components design into a single modular simulation tool can significantly reduce design iterations and improve the results. Thanks to an innovative modular-structured program for the simulation of air-cooled gas turbines, the one-dimensional design of compressor and turbine flow paths is used to create a complete gas turbine model including a detailed secondary air system and a simplified heat transfer model. This zero-dimensional heat transfer model is applied to each turbine row in order to calculate the cooling flow required to keep turbine blades and vanes metal temperatures below a prescribed threshold. After a description of the air cooled gas turbine modular model, the integrated design approach adopted by Ansaldo Energia is described. The knowledge of technical risks that the designers have to withstand developing advanced technologies during conceptual engine design is fundamental. The inter-disciplinary influence of some disciplines is analyzed and finally it is shown how Ansaldo Energia approach can track expected performance results and provide recovery plans during the conceptual design phase.

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