Velocity and pressure fluctuations induced by the precessing helical vortex in a conical diffuser
Paper in proceedings, 2014
The flow unsteadiness generated in the draft tube cone of hydraulic turbines affects the turbine operation. Therefore, several swirling flow configurations are investigated using a swirling apparatus in order to explore the unsteady phenomena. The swirl apparatus has two parts: the swirl generator and the test section. The swirl generator includes two blade rows being designed such that the exit velocity profile resembles that of a turbine with fixed pitch. The test section includes a divergent part similar to the draft tube cone of a Francis turbine. A new control method based on a magneto rheological brake is used in order to produce several swirling flow configurations. As a result, the investigations are performed for six operating regimes in order to quantify the flow from part load operation, corresponding to runaway speed, to overload operation, corresponding to minimum speed, at constant guide vane opening. The part load operation corresponds to 0.7 times the best efficiency discharge, while the overload operation corresponds to 1.54 times the best efficiency discharge. LDV measurements are performed along three survey axes in the test section. The first survey axis is located just downstream the runner in order to check the velocity field at the swirl generator exit, while the next two survey axes are located at the inlet and at the outlet of the draft tube cone. Two velocity components are simultaneously measured on each survey axis. The measured unsteady velocity components are used to validate the results of unsteady numerical simulations, conducted using the OpenFOAM CFD code. The computational domain covers the entire swirling apparatus, including strouts, guide vanes, runner, and the conical diffuser. A dynamic mesh is used together with sliding GGI interfaces to include the effect of the rotating runner. The Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes equations coupled with the RNG k–ε turbulence model are utilized to simulate the unsteady turbulent flow throughout the swirl generator.