An investigation into the effect of stator-rotor hub gap sealing flow on turbine performance is presented. Efficiency measurements and rotor exit area traverse data from a low speed research turbine are reported. Tests carried out over a range of sealing flow conditions show that the turbine efficiency decreases with increasing sealant flow rate but that this penalty is reduced by swirling the sealant flow. Results from time-accurate and steady-state simulations using a three-dimensional multi-block RANS solver are presented with particular emphasis paid to the mechanisms of loss production. The contributions toward entropy generation of the mixing of the sealant fluid with the mainstream flow and of the perturbed rotor secondary flows are assessed. The importance of unsteady stator wake/sealant flow interactions is also highlighted.

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