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[en] Although the technology of pump-turbines is generally well known the operation is still affected by flow phenomena that are quite complex and not fully understood. One of these phenomena is the S-shape instability which occurs in turbine mode at low load operation, close to runaway conditions. The instability results in an S-shape of the turbine characteristics and complicates the synchronization of the machine. Numerical investigations performed in the past indicated that the occurrence of turbine instabilities is connected with the appearance of rotor-stator interactions, and backflow regions in the vane less space between guide vane and impeller. This paper presents the results and conclusions of experimental investigations of pump-turbine instabilities carried out to find a practical explanation for the flow phenomena responsible for the appearance of the S-shaped characteristics. In the scope of a joint research project with Andritz Hydro, the Institute for Hydraulic Fluidmachinery at Graz University of Technology optimized an existing 4-quadrant test rig for an experimental investigation at off design conditions featuring the possibility for adjusting stable operation of instabilities. All the experimental investigations were based on IEC60193-standard using a pump turbine model provided by Andritz Hydro AG. In addition to the standard measurements of flow rate, head and efficiency the interaction between model and its hydraulic environment were analysed by dynamic pressure sensors. Additional pressure sensors integrated in the guide vane apparatus were used to investigate pressure distributions in the model. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) allowed the measurement of the velocity field in the vane less space between impeller and guide vanes and in the environment of two single guide vanes. The experimental investigations were focused on operation points in the S-shape region of the characteristics. For each operation point 190 double images for 20 rotor-stator positions were taken which allowed an analysis of a complete blade channel. The combination of PIV and pressure measurements in the model enabled a structured experimental analysis of the flow phenomena at low load off- design operation and allowed an improved understanding of the physical background of the occurrence of the instability in turbine mode
[en] Conventional representations of the various operation modes of a pump-turbine (4-quadrant characteristics) have important disadvantages. While curves of Q11 vs n11 have singularities at E=0 and multiple values in the 'unstable' ranges, the curves EnD(QnD) get singular at n=0. As a remedy, one may split the characteristics into separate parts, and switch between them. Another approach introduced by P. Suter (1966, ) defines a different set of variables which avoids singularity and always remains unique-valued. Suter described this artifice for non-regulated pumps; but using it for regulated machines without modifications is not practical due to large distortions at small guide vane opening. A decisive improvement has been described by C.S. Martin . It avoids the distortion of the head-vs-flow curves at low load. The present paper describes how further improvement is possible, in particular with regard to the representation of torque. A modified torque parameter is obtained by subtracting the shutoff torque; this parameter can be handled in the same practical way as the discharge. Other improvements concern the correction for leakage at small guide vane opening, and the treatment of very small and zero opening. These details are concerned with the problem of closed gate where Suter's concept does not work. Applications are demonstrated, not only how to represent the hydraulic performance (head vs. discharge and torque vs. discharge), but also for other characteristics, such as the development of pressure and pressure pulsation in various locations, or the steady-state and unsteady guide vane torque. The advantage of a set of continuous, single-valued functions for all those physical properties greatly simplifies computation of their behavior during transients. Moreover, the, Suterized' properties of pump-turbines of different specific speed are less different from each other than the conventional ones, a fact that facilitates application of available test data for later projects.
[en] The causes of resonance of a certain model pump-turbine unit during startup process were investigated in this article. A three-dimensional full flow path analysis model which contains spiral case, stay vanes, guide vanes, runner, gaps outside the runner crown and band, and draft tube was constructed. The transient hydraulic excitation force of full flow path was analyzed under five conditions near the resonance region. Based on one-way fluid- structure interaction (FSI) analysis model, the dynamic stress characteristics of the pump-turbine runner was investigated. The results of pressure pulsation, vibration mode and dynamic stress obtained from simulation were consistent with the test results. The study indicated that the hydraulic excitation frequency (Z_g*f_n) Hz due to rotor-stator interference corresponding to the natural frequency of 2ND+4ND runner mode is the main cause of resonance. The relationship among pressure pulsation, vibration mode and dynamic stress was discussed in this paper. The results revealed the underlying causes of the resonance phenomenon
[en] In order to get the accurate hump characteristic curve of a pump turbine in pump mode, three dimensional steady simulations were carried out using SST k-ω turbulence model with cavitation model and without cavitation model under different operation condition points with 19 mm guide vanes opening. A refinement grids were generated to adapt the turbulence model. The results obtained with cavitation model show a better agreement with experiments. The detailed analysis was undertaken to find out the relationship between the cavitation and hump region. It is concluded that the hump characteristic is related with cavitation
[en] In the design process of pump-turbines, both in pump and turbine mode, the assessment of the components matching is very important. In order to be fast in this task, the usual procedure is based on steady-state methods, like the frozen-rotor or the mixing-plane method. The frozen-rotor approach is straight forward and relatively easy to implement, but can produce unphysical behavior, mainly depending on the relative position of the components. On the other hand, the mixing-plane has a more physical background, delivering to the downstream component the mixed-out state of the upstream flow. On how the mixed-out state is computed and imposed to the downstream component there are different methodologies. In the present paper a novel, fully-implicit mixing-plane method is presented and applied to pump-turbine applications, both in pump and turbine mode. The major advantage of this approach is its robustness, including the ability to handle back flow at the interface, and accuracy. Compared to currently available methods, both in proprietary and commercial codes, the implicit approach leads to a consistent treatment of the interface, enforcing natively the idea of the mixing-plane, i.e. constant spanwise-distribution of the quantities. This allows to obtain excellent results also at part- and over-load
[en] For a pump-turbine, unstable discharge-energy characteristic is an important factor for operating stability. In this study, the rotor-stator interaction effects on the pump-turbine which has the unstable discharge-energy characteristic has been studied. A series of transient CFD simulations under different discharge conditions have been conducted. Through the contrast between the simulations and experiments, it is found out that the energy decline is strongly affected by the flow loss in the adjustable vane. More importantly, the magnitude and direction of fluid flowing into the adjustable vane are varying with the impeller rotating. Disordered flow structure occurs in the adjustable vane and causes the energy losses due to the interaction effects. Based on this study, improvements on the flow uniformity at impeller outlet will help us to solve the unstable discharge-energy problem
[en] The present study concerns fluid-structure coupling phenomena occurring in a guide vane cascade of a pump-turbine scale model placed in the EPFL PF3 test rig. An advanced instrument set is used to monitor both vibrating structures and the surrounding flow. The paper highlights the interaction between vibrating guide vanes and the flow behavior. The pressure fluctuations in the stay vanes region are found to be strongly influenced by the amplitude of the vibrating guide vanes. Moreover, the flow induces different hydrodynamic damping on the vibrating guide vanes depending on the operating point of the pump-turbine.
[en] Three dimensional, unsteady, cavitating flows in a pump-turbine at pump mode were numerically studied using SST k-ω turbulence model and the mixture model. The unsteady cavitating flow and pressure fluctuations at different positions were analysed with two openings of guide vanes. Calculation results are in good agreement with experimental data. Results show that the opening of guide vanes has great effect on the cavitation phenomenon. The cavitating region gradually decreases with the increase of the relative opening, and it locates at the inlet of the suction side. The amplitude of the pressure fluctuation reduces as the cavitating region decreases. The numerical study of unsteady cavitating flow can provide a basic understanding for the improvement of stable operation of a pump-turbine
[en] Numerical simulation using SST k-w turbulence model was carried out, to predict pressure fluctuation transfer law in turbine mode. Three operating points with different mass flow rates are simulated. The results of numerical simulation show that, the amplitude and frequency of pressure fluctuations in different positions are very different. The transfer law of amplitude and frequency of pressure fluctuations change with different position and different mass flow rate. Blade passing frequency (BPF) is the first dominant frequency in vaneless space, while component in this frequency got smaller in the upstream and downstream of vaneless space when the mass flow is set. Furthermore triple blade passing frequency (3BPF) component obtained a different transfer law through the whole flow passage. The amplitude and frequency of pressure fluctuations is also different in different circumference position of vaneless space. When the mass flow is different, the distribution of pressure fluctuations in circumference is different. The frequency component of pressure fluctuations in all the positions is different too
[en] Water hammer phenomena are important issues for high head hydro power plants. Especially, if several reversible pump-turbines are connected to the same waterways there may be strong interactions between the hydraulic machines. The prediction and coverage of all relevant load cases is challenging and difficult using classical simulation models. On the basis of a recent pump-storage project, dynamic measurements motivate an improved modeling approach making use of the Thoma number dependency of the actual turbine behaviour. The proposed approach is validated for several transient scenarios and turns out to increase correlation between measurement and simulation results significantly. By applying a fully automated simulation procedure broad operating ranges can be covered which provides a consistent insight into critical load case scenarios. This finally allows the optimization of the closing strategy and hence the overall power plant performance