Steady and unsteady numerical simulations of the flow in the Tokke Francis turbine model, at three operating conditions
Paper in proceedings, 2015
This work investigates the flow in the scale model of the high-head Tokke Francis turbine at part load, best efficiency point and high load, as a contribution to the first Francis-99 workshop. The work is based on the FOAM-extend CFD software, which is a recent fork of the OpenFOAM CFD software that contains new features for simulations in rotating machinery. Steady-state mixing plane RANS simulations are conducted, with an inlet before the guide vanes and an outlet after the draft tube. Different variants of the k-epsilon and k-ω turbulence models are used and a linear explicit algebraic Reynolds stress model is implemented. Sliding grid URANS simulations, using a general grid interface coupling, are performed including the entire turbine geometry, from the inlet to the spiral casing to the outlet of the draft tube. For the unsteady simulations, the k-ω SSTF model is implemented and used in addition to the standard k-epsilon model. Both the steady and unsteady simulations give good predictions of the pressure distribution in the turbine compared to the experimental results. The velocity profiles at the runner outlet are well predicted at off-design conditions. A strong swirl is however obtained at best efficiency point, which is not observed in the experiments. While the steady-state simulations strongly overestimate the efficiency, the unsteady simulations give good predictions at best efficiency point (error of 1.16%) with larger errors at part load (10.67%) and high load (2.72%). Through the use of Fourier decomposition, the pressure fluctuations in the turbine are analysed, and the main rotor-stator interaction frequencies are predicted correctly at all operating conditions.