The performance of the last stage of a Low Pressure (LP) steam turbine is strongly coupled with the downstream exhaust hood performance. In particular, the effect of the diffuser within the exhaust hood on the pressure recovery is very important in retrofitting existing machines, which dictate many geometric constraints. Alstom’s in-house Exhaust Design System (EDS) simulates the three-dimensional flow in the exhaust hood by coupling the last stage blades and the exhaust hood. This EDS system can be used to design an LP diffuser in the exhaust hood and to achieve the required performance targets. In the first part of this paper, the EDS system is validated against measurements within model turbines, which represent both a standard machine as well as a retrofit machine. In the second part of this paper, an LP diffuser was redesigned to improve the performance using the EDS method. To begin with, an axi-symmetric diffuser was designed using numerical simulations of a passage in the last stage turbine as well as a slice of the diffuser and the exhaust hood. By carefully controlling the profile of the diffuser casing, the flow separation at the original casing walls was reduced significantly and this, in turn, improved the performance of the turbine substantially. Then, the full geometry of the exhaust hood was modeled in order to investigate the effect of the three-dimensional flow features. Based on the examined flow features, an asymmetric change was introduced to the diffuser casing to improve the three-dimensional flow structure. This new asymmetric diffuser was found to maximize the exhaust performance.

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