The last-stage blade (LSB) rows and exhaust hood in low-pressure (LP) steam turbine sections are key elements of the entire LP turbine part. The cold end section affects significantly the whole LP turbine efficiency and overall turbine performance due to huge steam expansion. This expansion is strongly coupled with the diffuser and exhaust hood, which transforms kinetic energy at the stage exit into potential energy. Mentioned mechanism leads to expansion line prolongation between the stage inlet and diffuser outlet and higher turbine power output.

An experimental investigation of the flow field in the exhaust hood is very economically and procedurally expensive and not commonly feasible. Nowadays, capable numerical simulations can provide relatively fast and accurate results on any studied model. On the other hand, the flow behavior inside the LSB and the exhaust hood is very complex and it is still challenging to investigate the whole system using CFD codes.

The purpose of this paper is to validate complex three-dimensional CFD methodology of the flow field in the operating 1 090 MW steam turbine exhaust hood with radial diffuser and condenser neck. The exceptional contribution of this paper is the fact that unique data obtained by measurement on operating Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) steam turbine are available. The comparison is focused mainly on the pressure, velocity and steam wetness distribution along the LSB height at the stage exit/diffuser inlet. Wall static pressures and the pressure recovery coefficient of the exhaust hood were also determined and compared with experimental data. The complete CFD study helps to understand the flow behavior inside the whole exhaust throat and locate critical parts that negatively affect aerodynamic design.

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