Investigation of Rotating Vortex Rope formation during load variation in a Francis turbine draft tube

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.1016/j.renene.2019.11.014
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics, Teknik och teknologier, Maskinteknik, Strömningsmekanik och akustik, Hydraulic turbine, Rotating Vortex Rope, Load variation, Swirling flow, Flow instability, Strömningslära, Fluid Mechanics
Publication year: 2020
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SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
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Rotating Vortex Rope (RVR) has been a matter of focus for years due to the major effects on hydraulic turbine’s efficiency. The exact procedure of RVR formation is still vague. The present research focuses on the dynamics of the RVR formation during the load variation employing transient numerical simulations. Two different geometries including the full geometry and the reduced one, which consists of one stay vane, two guide vanes, one runner blade, one splitter blade and full draft tube, are considered. In order to capture the transient swirling flow features inside the draft tube, the Shear Stress Transport-Scale Adaptive Simulation (SST-SAS) model is utilized to approximate the turbulent stresses. The pressure results inside the draft tube agree well with the experimental measurements. Moreover, the velocity results show the central low-axial-velocity and high-tangential-velocity region in the draft tube properly. The flow structure is visualized using λ2 criterion. The dynamic of RVR and the physics behind the RVR formation are investigated during the load variation. The results indicate four flow regimes with different characteristics during RVR formation. The first flow regime is a stable swirling structure occurring at Best Efficiency Point (BEP). The second flow regime occurs at the beginning of the load variation where signs of flow instabilities appear. These instabilities are temporary and washed down by the upstream flow. Expanding the instabilities and creating the vortical structures in the draft tube are the important flow features in the third flow regime. The fourth flow regime is the presence of a developed rotating rope occurring at the Part Load (PL) condition. The flow regimes differ according to the size and shape of the stalled region during load rejection inside the draft tube cone. They also reveal that despite some shortcomings, the reduced model is reliable to simulate the RVR transient formation. The full geometry simulations could be also applicable for practical problems provided that the modified time step is slightly greater than the main blade rotational angle is used.


Nahale Sotoudeh

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
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Reza Maddahian

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
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Michel Cervantes

Luleå tekniska universitet; Strömningslära och experimentell mekanik
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