Computational fluid dynamics is widely used in the aerodynamic performance analysis of the low pressure exhaust system (LPES) which consists of the exhaust hood and condenser neck. However, most of the former studies analyzed the exhaust system separately without considering the effect on flow field from the last stage. In order to get the detailed information of flow field in LPES of steam turbines and reduce energy loss, a numerical model includes condenser neck, exhaust hood and last stage was constructed. This model can describe the effect of unsymmetrical inlet flow on the aerodynamic performance of LPES, so the effect of the inhomogeneous flow from the last stage was taken into account. The Reynolds averaged N-S equations with RNG k-ε turbulence model were adopted to analyze the flow field in the exhaust system considering the interaction between the exhaust system and the last stage, the mixing plane approach was used. The combined model can provide more reasonable numerical results of LPES, it shows that the inhomogeneous flow from the last stage is one of the main reasons leading to flow separation in diffuser. The influence of inner low pressure heater and the diffuse function of the condenser neck structure are the main reasons for the nonuniform velocity distribution of the flow field at the LPES outlet. Furthermore, based on the numerical results, an optimal LPES which has better aerodynamic performance and more reasonable flow is obtained. The optimal structure has low steam resistance and low exhaust pressure, so it can increase the efficiency of turbine.

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