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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Experimental and Numerical Investigations on the Origins of Rotating Stall in a Propeller Turbine Runner Operating in No-Load Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Sébastien Houde

Hydraulic Machines Laboratory,
Faculté des sciences et de génie,
Laval University,
1341, Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot,
1065 rue de la médecine,
Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
e-mail: sebastien.houde@gmc.ulaval.ca

Guy Dumas

Laboratoire de Mécanique des
Fluides Numérique,
Faculté des sciences et de génie,
Laval University,
Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot,
1065 rue de la médecine,
Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
e-mail: guy.dumas@gmc.ulaval.ca

Claire Deschênes

Hydraulic Machines Laboratory,
Faculté des sciences et de génie,
Laval University,
1341, Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot,
1065 rue de la médecine,
Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
e-mail: Claire.Deschenes@gmc.ulaval.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 1, 2017; final manuscript received February 8, 2018; published online May 28, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Shawn Aram.

J. Fluids Eng 140(11), 111104 (May 28, 2018) (18 pages) Paper No: FE-17-1712; doi: 10.1115/1.4039713 History: Received November 01, 2017; Revised February 08, 2018

Hydraulic turbines are more frequently used for power regulation and thus spend more time providing spinning reserve for electrical grids. Spinning reserve requires the turbine to operate at its synchronous rotation speed, ready to be linked to the grid in what is termed the speed-no-load (SNL) condition. The turbine's runner flow in SNL is characterized by low discharge and high swirl leading to low-frequency high amplitude pressure fluctuations potentially leading to blade damage and more maintenance downtime. For low-head hydraulic turbines operating at SNL, the large pressure fluctuations in the runner are sometimes attributed to rotating stall. Using embedded pressure transducer measurements, mounted on runner blades of a model propeller turbine, and numerical flow simulations, this paper provides an insight into the inception mechanism associated with rotating stall in SNL conditions. The results offer evidence that the rotating stall is in fact associated with an unstable vorticity distribution not associated with the runner blades themselves.

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Figures

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Fig. 3

Vortical structures observed experimentally by Pulpitel et al. [29] in two different no load conditions: (a) three vertical vortices configuration and (b) four vertical vortices configuration with attached vortex ring on the head cover (Reproduced with permission from Pulpitel et al. [29]. Copyright 1996 by Springer.)

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Fig. 4

Positions of the miniature pressure transducers on AxialT runner blades

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Fig. 2

Schematic representation of a hydraulic turbine efficiency hill chart in terms of nED and QED. The dark shaded area would be the useful operating range. The runaway line correspond to the line where T = 0. The darker dot would be the location of the SNL condition.

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Fig. 1

AxialT turbine model

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Fig. 5

Measured normalized discharge (Q*) and torque (T*) of AxialT: (a) run 1 from SNL to full load and (b) run 2 from full load to SNL

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Fig. 6

Pressure signal for sensors S6 and S14 for the two test runs

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Fig. 10

Computational domains, boundary conditions locations and axis orientations

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Fig. 11

Illustration of the computational meshes: (a) distributor and wicket gates and (b) draft tube

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Fig. 12

(a) Illustration of the runner hexahedral mesh and (b) results of the grid convergence test. T* refers to the torque normalized by the torque value with the coarser mesh. The selected final grid size is circled.

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Fig. 7

Wavelet analysis of sensors S6, S14 for run 1 and run 2

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Fig. 8

Power spectra of sensors S6 and S14: (a) 0 < f/n < 10 and (b) 0.8 < f/n < 1

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Fig. 9

(a) Power spectra of the blade mounted strain gage and (b) power spectra of the pressure transducer in the vaneless space

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Fig. 16

Numerical and measured power spectra for sensors S6 and S14 (full-frequency range)

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Fig. 17

Numerical and measured power spectra for sensors S6 and S14 (subsynchronous range)

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Fig. 18

(a) Simulated torque for each blade over 0.2 s and (b) inner span (black) and outer span (gray) torque on blade 1 for 0.2 s

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Fig. 19

Streaklines on two constant span surfaces projected in Meridional-theta coordinates of blade 1: (a) 30% span close to the hub and (b) 70% span close to the shroud

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Fig. 13

Contours of the detached eddy simulation blending function for a selected time-step: (a) ZX plane at y = 0 and (b) XY plane at midrunner height

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Fig. 14

Comparison of the averaged pressure from SAS simulations and measurements

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Fig. 15

Comparison of the pressure standard deviation (σ) from SAS simulations and measurements

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Fig. 25

Iso-surfaces of λ2 criterion for time ti and tii for the runner without blades

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Fig. 20

(a) Iso-surfaces of λ2 criterion in the vaneless space and runner. (b) Iso-surfaces of λ2 criterion with contours of Pn = P/E showing the clumping of vortices. Blade 1 is in black.

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Fig. 21

Normalized pressure (Pn) contours at the rotor–stator interface for times t1, t2

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Fig. 22

Contours of axial velocity (wz) on three planes within the runner for time t1, t2. Darker regions are backflow regions.

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Fig. 23

Contours of axial velocity (wz) on ZY plane within the runner and draft tube for time t1, t2. Darker regions are backflow regions.

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Fig. 24

No-blade runner mesh

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Fig. 26

Backflow regions (in darker color) for time ti and tii at the rotor–stator interface and midrunner XY plane

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Fig. 27

Backflow regions (in darker color) on an YZ plane for time ti and tii

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Fig. 28

(a) Pressure signal of the kε simulations without runner blades at monitor points S6 and S14 for a period of 0.35 s and (b) fast Fourier transform of the pressure signal of S6 and S14

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Fig. 29

Contours of vorticity and two-dimensional streaklines on a YZ plane for time ti, tii

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