The basic principle of a distinct idea to reduce an aerodynamic mixing loss induced by the difference in tangential velocity between mainstream flow and rotor shroud leakage flow is presented in “Part I – Design Concept and Typical Performance of a Swirl Breaker” The design concept offers an effective geometry for improving steam turbine stage efficiency. When the swirl breaker is installed in the circulating region of leakage flow at the rotor shroud exit cavity, the axial distance between the swirl breaker and rotor shroud is a crucial factor to trap the leakage flow into the swirl breaker cavity. In this Part II of the study, five cases of swirl breaker geometry with different axial distances between the swirl breaker and rotor shroud, which covered a range for the stage axial distance of actual high and intermediate (HIP) pressure steam turbines, were investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and tests. Compared to a conventional single-stage CFD analysis, by conducting an additional single-rotor analysis with the modified shear stress transport (SST) model coefficient, the prediction accuracy for typical improvements in stage efficiency was increased in comparison to the single-stage analysis with the default SST model. Based on CFD results, the verification tests were conducted in a 1.5-stage air model turbine. By decreasing the axial distance between the swirl breaker and rotor shroud, the tangential velocity and the mixing region in the tip side which is influenced by the rotor shroud leakage flow were decreased and the stage efficiency was increased. The case of the shortest axial distance between the swirl breaker and rotor shroud increased turbine stage efficiency by 0.7% compared to the conventional cavity geometry. In addition, the unsteady pressure was measured in the swirl breaker cavity to evaluate the structural reliability of the swirl breaker. These results showed the maximum pressure fluctuation was only 0.7% of the entire flow pressure. Consequently, both performance characteristics and structural reliability of swirl breaker were verified for application to real steam turbines.

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