Kinetic energy recovery is a key objective for low pressure exhaust hood design and optimization. Numerical simulation of the exhaust hood helps the engineers to explore and confirm the causes of the loss in the hood. Many studies have suggested that it is necessary for the simulation to include the last stage blade to get a realistic assessment. For the sole exhaust hood study, the inlet boundary condition is hard to set precisely like the downstream flow of the last stage blade. And the studies have also shown that the performances generated from the simulations may vary evidently between the sole exhaust hood and exhaust hood with last stage blade. It is obvious that the blade influences the exhaust hood, but the exact effect factors of the blade and the way they work are not thoroughly discussed. This paper has conducted many numerical tests to audit the influence of the common effect factors of the last stage blade. The internal flow field of the exhaust hood was numerically investigated using three-dimensional Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solutions based on the ANSYS-CFX. In the first part of the paper, the tests are conducted by changing each effect factor of the inlet boundary condition for sole exhaust hood studies. These factors include the mass flow flux, the angle of the exit flow of the last stage, both the circumferential and the radial ones, and the speed and position of the jet-flow downstream of the seal over the shroud of the bucket. The tests show that each factor has its own distinctive style and extent for influence. Some of them may maximize the performance at some certain point, and some may deteriorate the performance rapidly beyond a threshold. And some factors may change the performance insignificantly within a wide range. However, these influences are not good enough to be consistent with the difference between the sole exhaust hood and the hood with blade simulations. In the second part of this paper, the focus locates on the direction of the jet-flow of the bucket seal. The tests prove that this direction is the prominent factor to influence the exhaust hood performance. Some extra tests for the seal have also been conducted to analyze this factor. The static pressure recovery for the simulation with labyrinth seal is about only half of the sole exhaust hood simulation. The discussion of these tests show that the seal jet is the main cause for this performance dive, and explain how the seal jet direction changes the flow field of the exhaust hood. It also suggests that the procedure to optimize the seal design is not mature yet, for some nature of the jet-flow remains unclear. It may need more detailed study in the future.

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