The aim of this work is to provide an insight into the performance reduction of a 1.5 axial steam turbine stage working under extreme incidence conditions at the inlet. In particular, the main object of the study is the propagation of the loss cores across the blade rows, so as to assess how such operating conditions affect the full machine. Experimental data have been used to validate an unsteady three-dimensional numerical simulation, which provided the tools to investigate the flowfield in detail. To do so, the 1.5 turbine stage installed in the Low Speed Test Rig at Politecnico di Milano has been tested with design and off-design inlet conditions by modifying the IGV orientation. The inter-stage flowfield was investigated by traversing pressure probes in three different axial planes, downstream of each blade row. The numerical simulation has been carried out at University of Florence. The experimental data from probes traversing was used as boundary conditions so as to match as closely as possible the actual operative parameters of the stage. Data from flange-to-flange measurements on the test rig were also used to compare the stage efficiency. After the successful validation of the numerical results, the loss cores propagation study itself was carried out. Using CFD results, the unsteady nature of the separation occurring on the first stator in off-design condition is investigated. Subsequently, a detailed analysis of the propagation of the loss cores is presented, including loss coefficients calculation and entropy trends along the machines axial coordinate. The main outcome is that at the machine exit the loss structures appear to be mainly mixed out and, therefore, subsequent stages would operate under conditions not far from the nominal ones.

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