The influence of a cylindrical strut shortly downstream of the bladerow on the vibration behavior of the last stage rotor blades of a single stage LP model steam turbine was investigated in the present study. Steam turbine retrofits often result in an increase of turbine size, aiming for more power and higher efficiency. As the existing LP steam turbine exhaust hoods are generally not modified, the last stage rotor blades frequently move closer to installations within the exhaust hood. To capture the influence of such an installation on the flow field characteristics, extensive flow field measurements using pneumatic probes were conducted at the turbine outlet plane. In addition, time-resolved pressure measurements along the casing contour of the diffuser and on the surface of the cylinder were made, aiming for the identification of pressure fluctuations induced by the flow around the installation. Blade vibration behavior was measured at three different operating conditions by means of a tip timing system.
Despite the considerable changes in the flow field and its frequency content, no significant impact on blade vibration amplitudes were observed for the investigated case and considered operating conditions. Nevertheless, time-resolved pressure measurements suggest that notable pressure oscillations induced by the vortex shedding can reach the upstream bladerow.