Unsteady numerical simulation of the flow in the U9 Kaplan turbine model
Paper in proceedings, 2014
The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations with the RNG k-ε turbulence model closure are utilized to simulate the unsteady turbulent flow throughout the whole flow passage of the U9 Kaplan turbine model. The U9 Kaplan turbine model comprises 20 stationary guide vanes and 6 rotating blades (700 RPM), working at full load (0.71 m3/s). The computations are conducted using a general finite volume method, using the OpenFOAM CFD code. A dynamic mesh is used together with a sliding GGI interface to include the effect of the rotating runner. The hub and tip clearances are included in the runner. An analysis is conducted of the unsteady behavior of the flow field, the pressure fluctuation in the draft tube, and the coherent structures of the flow. The tangential and axial velocity distributions at three sections in the draft tube are compared against LDV measurements. The numerical result is in reasonable agreement with the experimental data, and the important flow physics close to the hub in the draft tube is captured. The hub and tip vortices and an on-axis forced vortex are realistically captured. The numerical results show that the frequency of the forced vortex in 1/5 of the runner rotation.