Special issue for invited papers from 24th IAHR Symposium Selected papers from the 24th IAHR Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, October 27-31, 2008, Foz do Iguassu-Brazil are published in the special issue.
The current paper focuses on the analysis of transient cavitating flow in pressurised polyethylene pipes, which are characterized by viscoelastic rheological behaviour. A hydraulic transient solver that describes fluid transients in plastic pipes has been developed. This solver incorporates the description of dynamic effects related to the energy dissipation (unsteady friction), the rheological mechanical behaviour of the viscoelastic pipe and the cavitating pipe flow. The Discrete Vapour Cavity Model (DVCM) and the Discrete Gas Cavity Model (DGCM) have been used to describe transient cavitating flow. Such models assume that discrete air cavities are formed in fixed sections of the pipeline and consider a constant wave speed in pipe reaches between these cavities. The cavity dimension (and pressure) is allowed to grow and collapse according to the mass conservation principle. An extensive experimental programme has been carried out in an experimental set-up composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, assembled at Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon, Portugal. The experimental facility is composed of a single pipeline with a total length of 203 m and inner diameter of 44 mm. The creep function of HDPE pipes was determined by using an inverse model based on transient pressure data collected during experimental runs without cavitating flow. Transient tests were carried out by the fast closure of the ball valves located at downstream end of the pipeline for the non-cavitating flow and at upstream for the cavitating flow. Once the rheological behaviour of HDPE pipes were known, computational simulations have been run in order to describe the hydraulic behaviour of the system for the cavitating pipe flow. The calibrated transient solver is capable of accurately describing the attenuation, dispersion and shape of observed transient pressures. The effects related to the viscoelasticity of HDPE pipes and to the occurrence of vapour pressures during the transient event are discussed.
Operational modal analysis (OMA) allows modal parameters, such as natural frequencies and damping, to be estimated solely from data collected during operation. However, a main shortcoming of these methods resides in the evaluation of the accuracy of the results. This paper will explore the uncertainty and possible variations in the estimates of modal parameters for different operating conditions. Two algorithms based on the Least Square Complex Exponential (LSCE) method will be used to estimate the modal parameters. The uncertainties will be calculated using a Monte-Carlo approach with the hypothesis of constant modal parameters at a given operating condition. In collaboration with Andritz-Hydro Ltd, data collected on two different stay vanes from an Andritz-Hydro Ltd Francis turbine will be used. This paper will present an overview of the procedure and the results obtained.
Hydroelectric power plants are known for their ability to cover variations of the consumption in electrical power networks. In order to follow this changing demand, hydraulic machines are subject to off-design operation. In that case, the swirling flow leaving the runner of a Francis turbine may act under given conditions as an excitation source for the whole hydraulic system. In high load operating conditions, vortex rope behaves as an internal energy source which leads to the self excitation of the system.
The aim of this paper is to identify the influence of the full load excitation source location with respect to the eigenmodes shapes on the system stability. For this, a new eigenanalysis tool, based on eigenvalues and eigenvectors computation of the nonlinear set of differential equations in SIMSEN, has been developed. First the modal analysis method and linearization of the set of the nonlinear differential equations are fully described. Then, nonlinear hydro-acoustic models of hydraulic components based on electrical equivalent schemes are presented and linearized. Finally, a hydro-acoustic SIMSEN model of a simple hydraulic power plant, is used to apply the modal analysis and to show the influence of the turbine location on system stability. Through this case study, it brings out that modeling of the pipe viscoelastic damping is decisive to find out stability limits and unstable eigenfrequencies.
The flow in the draft tube cone of Francis turbines operated at partial discharge is a complex hydrodynamic phenomenon where an incoming steady axisymmetric swirling flow evolves into a three-dimensional unsteady flow field with precessing helical vortex (also called vortex rope) and associated pressure fluctuations. The paper addresses the following fundamental question: is it possible to compute the circumferentially averaged flow field induced by the precessing vortex rope by using an axisymmetric turbulent swirling flow model? In other words, instead of averaging the measured or computed 3D velocity and pressure fields we would like to solve directly the circumferentially averaged governing equations. As a result, one could use a 2D axi-symmetric model instead of the full 3D flow simulation, with huge savings in both computing time and resources. In order to answer this question we first compute the axisymmetric turbulent swirling flow using available solvers by introducing a stagnant region model (SRM), essentially enforcing a unidirectional circumferentially averaged meridian flow as suggested by the experimental data. Numerical results obtained with both models are compared against measured axial and circumferential velocity profiles, as well as for the vortex rope location. Although the circumferentially averaged flow field cannot capture the unsteadiness of the 3D flow, it can be reliably used for further stability analysis, as well as for assessing and optimizing various techniques to stabilize the swirling flow. In particular, the methodology presented and validated in this paper is particularly useful in optimizing the blade design in order to reduce the stagnant region extent, thus mitigating the vortex rope and expending the operating range for Francis turbines.
The present paper shows the results of numerical and experimental modal analyses of Francis runners, which were executed in air and in still water. In its first part this paper is focused on the numerical prediction of the model parameters by means of FEM and the validation of the FEM method. Influences of different geometries on modal parameters and frequency reduction ratio (FRR), which is the ratio of the natural frequencies in water and the corresponding natural frequencies in air, are investigated for two different runners, one prototype and one model runner. The results of the analyses indicate very good agreement between experiment and simulation. Particularly the frequency reduction ratios derived from simulation are found to agree very well with the values derived from experiment. In order to identify sensitivity of the structural properties several parameters such as material properties, different model scale and different hub geometries are numerically investigated. In its second part, a harmonic response analysis is shown for a Francis runner by applying the time dependent pressure distribution resulting from an unsteady CFD simulation to the mechanical structure. Thus, the data gained by modern CFD simulation are being fully utilized for the structural design based on life time analysis. With this new approach a more precise prediction of turbine loading and its effect on turbine life cycle is possible allowing better turbine designs to be developed.
Pressure oscillations triggered by the unstable interaction of dynamic flow features of the hydraulic turbine with the hydraulic plant system - including the electrical design - can at times reach significant levels and could lead to damage of plant components or could reduce component lifetime significantly. Such a problem can arise for overload as well as for part load operation of the turbine. This paper discusses an approach to analyze the overload high pressure oscillation problem using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling of the hydraulic machine combined with a network modeling technique of the hydraulic system. The key factor in this analysis is the determination of the overload vortex rope volume occurring within the turbine under the runner which is acting as an active element in the system. Two different modeling techniques to compute the flow field downstream of the runner will be presented in this paper. As a first approach, single phase flow simulations are used to evaluate the vortex rope volume before moving to more sophisticated modeling which incorporates two phase flow calculations employing cavitation modeling. The influence of these different modeling strategies on the simulated plant behavior will be discussed.
This paper presents a numerical simulation study of the transient behavior of a 2x340MW pump-turbine power plant, where the results show an unstable behavior at runaway. First, the modeling of hydraulic components based on equivalent schemes is presented. Then, the 2 pump-turbine test case is presented. The transient behavior of the power plant is simulated for a case of emergency shutdown with servomotor failure on Unit 1. Unstable operation at runaway with a period of 15 seconds is properly simulated using a 1-dimensional approach. The simulation results points out a switch after 200 seconds of the unstable behavior between a period of oscillations initially of 15 seconds to a period of oscillation of 2.16 seconds corresponding to the hydraulic circuit first natural period. The pressure fluctuations related to both the rigid and elastic water column mode are presented for oscillation mode characterization. This phenomenon is described as a switch between a rigid and an elastic water column oscillation mode. The influence of the rotating inertia on the switch phenomenon is investigated through a parametric study.
Pumped storage power plants are playing a significant role in the contribution to the stabilization of an electrical grid, above all by stable operation and fast reaction to sudden load respectively frequency changes. Optimized efficiency and smooth running characteristics both in pump and turbine operation, improved stability for synchronization in turbine mode, load control in pump mode operation and also short reaction times may be achieved using adjustable speed power units. Such variable speed power plants are applicable for high variations of head (e.g. important for low head pump-turbine projects). Due to the rapid development of power semiconductors and frequency converter technology, feasible solutions can be provided even for large hydro power units. Suitable control strategies as well as clear design criteria contribute significantly to the optimal usage of the pump turbine and motor-generators.
The SIMSEN tool for dynamic simulations has been used for comparative investigations of different configurations regarding the power converter topology, types of semiconductors and types of motor-generators including the coupling to the hydraulic system. A brief overview of the advantages & disadvantages of the different solutions can also be found in this paper. Using this approach, a customized solution minimizing cost and exploiting the maximum usage of the pump-turbine unit can be developed in the planning stage of new and modernization pump storage projects.
The objective of the present work is to improve numerical predictions of unsteady turbulent swirling flows in the draft tubes of hydraulic power plants. We present Large Eddy Simulation (LES) results on a simplified draft tube consisting of a straight conical diffuser. The basis of LES is to solve the large scales of motion, which contain most of the energy, while the small scales are modeled. LES strategy is here preferred to the average equations strategies (RANS models) because it resolves directly the most energetic part of the turbulent flow. LES is now recognized as a powerful tool to simulate real applications in several engineering fields which are more and more frequently found. However, the cost of large-eddy simulations of wall bounded flows is still expensive. Bypass methods are investigated to perform high-Reynolds-number LES at a reasonable cost. In this study, computations at a Reynolds number about 2 105 are presented. This study presents the result of a new near-wall model for turbulent boundary layer taking into account the streamwise pressure gradient (adverse or favorable). Validations are made based on simple channel flow, without any pressure gradient and on the data base ERCOFTAC. The experiments carried out by Clausen et al.  reproduce the essential features of the complex flow and are used to develop and test closure models for such flows.
In the process of turbine modernizations, the investigation of the influences of water passage roughness on radial flow machine performance is crucial and validates the efficiency step up between reduced scale model and prototype. This study presents the specific losses per component of a Francis turbine, which are estimated by CFD simulation. Simulations are performed for different water passage surface roughness heights, which represents the equivalent sand grain roughness height.
As a result, the boundary layer logarithmic velocity profile still exists for rough walls, but moves closer to the wall. Consequently, the wall friction depends not only on roughness height but also on its shape and distribution. The specific losses are determined by CFD numerical simulations for each component of the prototype, taking into account its own specific sand grain roughness height. The model efficiency step up between reduced scale model and prototype value is finally computed by the assessment of specific losses on prototype and by evaluating specific losses for a reduced scale model with smooth walls. Furthermore, surveys of rough walls of each component were performed during the geometry recovery on the prototype and comparisons are made with experimental data from the EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines reduced scale model measurements.
This study underlines that if rough walls are considered, the CFD approach estimates well the local friction loss coefficient. It is clear that by considering sand grain roughness heights in CFD simulations, its forms a significant part of the global performance estimation. The availability of the efficiency field measurements provides an unique opportunity to assess the CFD method in view of a systematic approach for turbine modernization step up evaluation. Moreover, this paper states that CFD is a very promising tool for future evaluation of turbine performance transposition from the scale model to the prototype.
The 2D flow around 13 similar stay-vane profiles with different trailing edge geometries is investigated to determinate the main characteristics of the excitation forces for each one of them and their respective dynamic behaviors when modeled as a free-oscillating system. The main goal is avoid problems with cracks of hydraulic turbines components. A stay vane profile with a history of cracks was selected as the basis for this work. The commercial finite-volume code FLUENT® was employed in the simulations of the stationary profiles and, then, modified to take into account the transversal motion of elastically mounted profiles with equivalent structural stiffness and damping. The k-ω SST turbulence model is employed in all simulations and a deforming mesh technique used for models with profile motion.
The static-model simulations were carried out for each one of the 13 geometries using a constant far field flow velocity value in order to determine the lift force oscillating frequency and amplitude as a function of the geometry. The free-oscillating stay-vane simulations were run with a low mass-damping parameter (m*ζ=0.0072) and a single mean flow velocity value (5m/s). The structural bending stiffness of the stay-vane is defined by the Reduced Velocity parameter (Vr).
The dynamic analyses were divided into two sets. The first set of simulations was carried out only for one profile with 2≤Vr≤12. The second set of simulations focused on determining the behavior of each one of the 13 profiles in resonance.
Hydraulic instability associated with pressure fluctuations is a serious problem in hydraulic machinery. Pressure fluctuations are usually a result of a strong vortex created in the centre of a flow at the outlet of a runner. At every radial turbine and also at every single regulating axial turbine, the draft tube vortex appears at part-load operating regimes. The consequences of the vortex developed in the draft tube are very unpleasant pressure pulsation, axial and radial forces and torque fluctuation as well as turbine structure vibration. The consequences of the vortex are transferred upstream and downstream with amplitude and frequency modulation in respect of the turbine operating regime, cavitation conditions and air admitted content.
Numerical prediction of the vortex appearance in the design stage is a very important task. The amplitude of the pressure pulsation is different for each operating regime therefore the main goal of this research was to numerically predict pressure pulsation amplitude versus different guide vane openings and to compare the results with experimental ones.
For the numerical flow analysis of a complete Francis turbine (FT), the computer code ANSYS-CFX11 has been used.
Vibrations at different frequencies with a different intensity as well as a pressure pulsation with different parameters are two phenomena which can be observed at different water turbines. Due to the vibration and the pressure pulsation some restrictions of water turbine operation range are applied. Similar problems with the efficiency level in a wide water turbine operation range are the basic problems which are solved for ages. A theoretical and practical solution of the above mentioned problems is very much time and money consuming. The paper describes a new theoretical solution of the excitation and pressure pulsation decrease as well as extension of the operational range with high efficiency level. The new concept to decrease the vibrations and pressure pulsations is based on a heterogeneous runner blade geometry generation. The new concept of the runner geometry design was numerically tested at a low specific speed pump turbine, see Fig. 1, and basic points of the concept are presented in this paper.
The paper concerns the description of the step by step development process of the new fixed blade runner called "Mixer" suitable for the uprating of the Francis turbines units installed at the older low head hydropower plants. In the paper the details of hydraulic and mechanical design are presented. Since the rotational speed of the new runner is significantly higher then the rotational speed of the original Francis one, the direct coupling of the turbine to the generator can be applied. The maximum efficiency at prescribed operational point was reached by the geometry optimization of two most important components. In the first step the optimization of the draft tube geometry was carried out. The condition for the draft tube geometry optimization was to design the new geometry of the draft tube within the original bad draft tube shape without any extensive civil works. The runner blade geometry optimization was carried out on the runner coupled with the draft tube domain. The blade geometry of the runner was optimized using automatic direct search optimization procedure. The method used for the objective function minimum search is a kind of the Nelder-Mead simplex method. The objective function concerns efficiency, required net head and cavitation features. After successful hydraulic design the modal and stress analysis was carried out on the prototype scale runner. The static pressure distribution from flow simulation was used as a load condition. The modal analysis in air and in water was carried out and the results were compared. The final runner was manufactured in model scale and it is going to be tested in hydraulic laboratory. Since the turbine with the fixed blade runner does not allow double regulation like in case of full Kaplan turbine, it can be profitably used mainly at power plants with smaller changes of operational conditions or in case with more units installed. The advantages are simple manufacturing, installation and therefore lower expenses and short delivery time for turbine uprating.
Optimization of seal geometries can reduce significantly the energetic losses in a hydraulic seal , especially for high head runner turbine. In the optimization process, a reliable prediction of the losses is needed and CFD is often used. This paper presents numerical experiments to determine an adequate CFD model for straight, labyrinth and stepped hydraulic seals used in Francis runners. The computation is performed with a finite volume commercial CFD code with a RANS low Reynolds turbulence model. As numerical computations in small radial clearances of hydraulic seals are not often encountered in the literature, the numerical results are validated with experimental data on straight seals and labyrinth seals. As the validation is satisfactory enough, geometrical optimization of hydraulic seals using CFD will be studied in future works.
An investigation of surge inception in a centrifugal compressor was done with measurements of steady and unsteady static pressure. Vaneless diffuser and vaned diffuser were tested. Analyses of the static pressure and the pressure fluctuation showed that stall at the impeller leading edge occurred at first, and then it extended to downstream. In case of the vaneless diffuser, deterioration of the pressure rise in the impeller triggered instability. For the vande diffuser, instability that was generated in the impeller propagated into the vaned diffuser, however the pressure recovery by the vaned diffuser made the operation of the compressor stable at low flow rate.
A vertical bulb turbine unit with elbow type draft tube has been developed due to avoidance of complicated assembling and long standstill period at overhaul in comparison with conventional horizontal bulb turbine unit. Before designing the prototype vertical bulb unit, a hydrographic model test was carried out to establish the ideal design concept for this innovative generating unit. Froude similarity is not available for vortex occurrence. Consequently, an intake structure without air entraining vortices under all the flow conditions is developed, and it is confirmed that the surge wave at load rejection is not affected harmful influence for other constructions.
In order to investigate the design method for a micro centrifugal compressor, which is the most important component of an ultra micro gas turbine, an impeller having the outer diameter of 20mm was designed, manufactured and tested. The designed rotational speed is 500,000 rpm and the impeller has a fully 3-dimensional shape. The impeller was rotated at 250,000 rpm in the present study. The experimental results of the tested compressor with the vaned and the vaneless diffusers were compared. It was found that the vaned diffuser attained the higher flow rate than the vaneless diffuser at the maximum pressure ratio. In addition the maximum pressure ratio was higher for the diffuser having a larger diffuser divergence angle at the high flow rate. These results were compared with those obtained by the prediction method used at the design stage.
A Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of the flow in an inducer is carried out under flow rate oscillations. The present study focuses on the dynamic response of the backflow and the unsteady pressure performance to the flow rate fluctuations under non-cavitation conditions. The amplitude of angular momentum fluctuation evaluated by LES is larger than that evaluated by RANS. However, the phase delay of backflow is nearly the same as RANS calculation. The pressure performance curve exhibits a closed curve caused by the inertia effect associated with the flow rate fluctuations. Compared with simplified one dimensional evaluation of the inertia component, the component obtained by LES is smaller. The negative slope of averaged performance curve becomes larger under unsteady conditions. From the conservations of angular momentum and energy, an expression useful for the evaluation of unsteady pressure rise was obtained. The examination of each term of this expression show that the apparent decrease of inertia effects is caused by the response delay of Euler's head and that the increase of negative slope is caused by the delay of inertial term associated with the delay of backflow response. These results are qualitatively confirmed by experiments.
Three inducers were designed to avoid cavitation instabilities. This was accomplished by avoiding the interaction of tip cavity with the leading edge of the next blade. The first one was designed with extremely larger leading edge sweep, the second and third ones were designed with smaller incidence angle by reducing the inlet blade angle or increasing the design flow rate, respectively. The inducer with larger design flow rate has larger outlet blade angle to obtain sufficient pressure rise. The inducer with larger sweep could suppress the cavitation instabilities in higher flow rates more than 95% of design flow coefficient, owing to weaker tip leakage vortex cavity with stronger disturbance by backflow vortices. The inducer with larger outlet blade angle could avoid the cavitation instabilities at higher flow rates, owing to the extension of the tip cavity along the suction surface of the blade. The inducer with smaller inlet blade angle could avoid the cavitation instabilities at higher flow rates, owing to the occurrence of the cavity first in the blade passage and its extension upstream. The cavity shape and suction performance were reasonably simulated by three dimensional CFD computations under the steady cavitating condition, except for the backflow vortex cavity. The difference in the growth of cavity for each inducer is explained from the difference of the pressure distribution on the suction side of the blades.
A reversible axial flow fan called jet fan has been widely used for longitudinal ventilation in road tunnels to secure a safe and comfortable environment cost-effectively. As shifting the flow direction is usually made by only switching the rotational direction of an electric motor due to heavy duty, rotor blades having identical aerodynamic performance for bidirectional flow should be necessary. However, such aerodynamically desirable blades haven't been developed sufficiently, since most of the related studies have been done from the viewpoint of unidirectional flow. In the present paper, we demonstrate a method to profile the blade section suitable for bidirectional flow, which is validated by studying the aerodynamic performances of rotor blades of a two-stage jet fan experimentally and numerically.
There is a error in title of corresponding author in footnote as follows. Corresponding author: Stefan Lais, Dr., Stefan.Lais@andritz.com → Corresponding author: Mr. Stefan Lais, Stefan.Lais@andritz.com