Numerical investigation of the flow and instabilities at part-load and speed-no-load in an axial turbine

Sammanfattning: This thesis presents the numerical study of the Porjus U9 model, a scaled-down version of the 10 MW prototype Kaplan turbine located along the Luleå river in northern Sweden. The distributor contains 20 guide vanes, 18 stay vanes and the runner is 6-bladed. The numerical model is a geometrical representation of the model turbine located at Vattenfall Research and Development in Älvkarleby, Sweden. The commercial software ANSYS CFX 2020 R2 is used to perform the numerical simulations. Firstly, the draft tube cone section of the U9 model is numerically studied to investigate the sensitivity of a swirling flow to the GEKO (generalized kω) turbulence model. The GEKO model aims to consolidate different eddy viscosity turbulence models. Six free coefficients are changeable to tune the model to flow conditions and obtain results closer to an experimental reference without affecting the calibration of the turbulence model to basic flow test cases. Especially, the coefficients affecting wall-bounded flows are of interest. This study aims to analyze if the GEKO model can be used to obtain results closer to experimental measurements and better predict the swirling flow compared to other eddy viscosity turbulence models. Results show that the near-wall- and separation coefficients predict a higher swirl and give results closer to experimentally obtained ones. Secondly, a simplified version of the U9 model is investigated at BEP and PL operating conditions and includes one distributor passage with periodic boundary conditions, the runner and the draft tube. The flow is assumed axisymmetric upstream of the runner, hence the single distributor passage. Previous studies of hydraulic turbines operating at PL show difficulties predicting the flow's tangential velocity component as it is often underpredicted. Therefore, a parametric analysis is performed to investigate which parameters affect the prediction of the tangential velocity throughout different sections of the turbine. Results show that the model predicts the flow relatively well at BEP but has problems at PL; the axial velocity is overpredicted while the tangential is underpredicted. Moreover, the torque is overpredicted. The root cause for the deviation is an underestimation of the head losses. Another contributing reason is that the runner extracts too much swirl from the flow, hence the low tangential velocity and the high torque. Sensitive parameters are the blade clearance, blade angle and mass flow.Finally, the full version of the U9 model is analyzed at SNL operation, including the spiral casing, full distributor, runner and draft tube. During this operating condition, the flow is not axisymmetric; vortical flow structures extend from the vaneless space to the draft tube and the flow stalls between the runner blades. A mitigation technique with independent control of each guide vane is presented and implemented in the model. The idea is to open some of the guide vanes to BEP angle while keeping the remaining ones closed. The aim is to reduce the swirl and prevent the vortical flow structures from developing. Results show that the flow structures are broken down upstream the runner and the rotating stall between the runner blades is reduced, which decreases the pressure- and velocity fluctuations. The flow downstream the runner remains mainly unchanged. 

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