Compressible large eddy simulation of a Francis turbine during speed-no-load: Rotor stator interaction and inception of a vortical flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Chirag Trivedi

Waterpower Laboratory, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039423 History: Received July 17, 2017; Revised January 18, 2018


This work investigates the unsteady pressure fluctuations and inception of vortical flow in a hydraulic turbine during no-load-speed conditions. The focus of the present study is to experimentally measure and numerically characterize time-dependent pressure amplitudes in the vaneless space, runner and draft tube of a model Francis turbine. The numerical model consists of the entire turbine including Labyrinth seals. Compressible flow was considered for the numerical study to account for the effect of flow compressibility and the reflection of pressure waves. The results clearly showed that the vortical flow in the blade passages induces high-amplitude stochastic fluctuations. A distinct flow pattern in the turbine runner was found. The flow near the blade suction side close to the crown was more chaotic and reversible (pumping), whereas the flow on the blade pressure side close to the band was accelerating (turbine) and directed toward the outlet. Flow separation from the blade leading edge created a vortical flow, which broke up into four parts as it traveled further downstream and created high-energy turbulent eddies. The source of reversible flow was found at the draft tube elbow, where the flow in the center core region moves toward the runner cone. The vortical region located at the inner radius of the elbow gives momentum to the wall-attached flow and is pushed toward the outlet, whereas the flow at the outer radius is pushed toward the runner.

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