The exhaust hood of a steam turbine is an important area of turbomachinery research as its performance strongly influences the power output of the last stage blades (LSB). This paper compares results from 3D simulations using a novel application of the nonlinear harmonic (NLH) method with more computationally demanding predictions obtained using frozen rotor techniques. Accurate simulation of exhausts is only achieved when simulations of LSB are coupled to the exhaust hood to capture the strong interaction. One such method is the NLH method. In this paper, the NLH approach is compared against the current standard for capturing the inlet circumferential asymmetry, the frozen rotor approach. The NLH method is shown to predict a similar exhaust hood static pressure recovery and flow asymmetry compared with the frozen rotor approach using less than half the memory requirement of a full annulus calculation. A second option for reducing the computational demand of the full annulus frozen rotor method is explored where a single stator passage is modeled coupled to the full annulus rotor by a mixing plane. Provided the stage is choked, this was shown to produce very similar results to the full annulus frozen rotor approach but with a computational demand similar to that of the NLH method. In terms of industrial practice, the results show that for a typical well designed exhaust hood at nominal load conditions, the pressure recovery predicted by all methods (including those which do not account for circumferential uniformities) is similar. However, this is not the case at off-design conditions where more complex interfacing methods are required to capture circumferential asymmetry.

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