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Scientific Bulletin of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup

“Politehnica” University of Timisoara on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems

Transactions on Mechanics in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems
Tom 52(66), Fascicola 6, 2007 Timisoara, Romania
October 24 - 26, 2007


Helmut KECK * Wolfgang MICHLER
VA TECH HYDRO Switzerland VA TECH HYDRO Switzerland
Thomas WEISS Mirjam SICK
VA TECH HYDRO Switzerland VA TECH HYDRO Switzerland
*Corresponding author: Hardstrasse 319/P.O. Box, CH-8023 Zurich, Switzerland

ABSTRACT machine components. Thirdly, hydro power plants

are operated in a more challenging way; a wider
This paper gives an overview of current methods
operating range is needed and there are more load
for life cycle analysis with special emphasis on dy-
changes with more frequent starts and stops in order
namic load analysis. Recent developments in CFD
to respond to the increased need for peak shaving,
simulations of time dependent phenomena are pre-
balancing energy and spinning reserve. As a conse-
sented, such as the von Kármán vortex shedding at
quence, new technologies are needed, especially for
stay vanes in a Kaplan turbine and the part load vor-
the design and manufacturing of large runners, see
tex in the draft tube of a Francis turbine and a pump
Keck et al. (2002). Empirical rules and calculation
turbine. A major topic of this paper is the unsteady
methods of safety engineering, which have been per-
pressure field in a pump turbine which is caused by
fectly adequate for conventional designs for decades,
the interaction of guide vanes and runner blades.
might no longer be valid for more modern machine
CFD results of the pressure pulsations and their valida-
designs, a fact which in some cases lead to severe
tion through comparison with measurement data are
problems or even failure of components, see Coutu
presented. It is shown how the predicted time depend-
et al (2004). In order to improve reliability of these
ent pressure load is transferred as input to the struc-
conventional methods, both measurement techniques
tural analysis of the runner. For the analysis of the
and calculation methods are continuously being
response of the runner to the dynamic load knowledge
refined and further developed.
of the natural frequencies of the structure is required
Further developments are taking place in all engi-
including the influence of the surrounding water on
neering disciplines in the water turbine design:
the natural frequencies. New results of the prediction
ƒ Measurement techniques: improvement and
of the natural frequencies of a Francis runner including
application to increasingly complex systems,
the added mass effect due to the surrounding water
e.g. PIV measurement of draft tube vortex,
are presented. For Pelton runners the state-of-the art measurement of natural frequencies of Francis
of measurement of eigenfrequencies and detuning runner in water.
are discussed along with the potential improvements ƒ Structural analysis: refinement to more design
due to the new simulation methods. details and extension to more realistic boundary
conditions e.g. the influence of surrounding water.
1. INTRODUCTION ƒ CFD analysis: extension to time dependent flow
During the last few years dynamic load analysis phenomenon such as von Kármán vortices or
of the components of hydraulic turbines has become the interaction between wicket gate and runner.
a major issue. There are three main reasons for this. Most recent examples for the development and
Firstly, customers request more efficient and, at the application of the new engineering methods are pre-
same time, less expensive machines, which are usu- sented for all types of turbines.
ally less robust. Secondly, refurbishment projects are Kaplan turbine: von Kármán vortex shedding at
often targeted at a considerable increase in flow rate the stay vanes, with focus on the application of re-
and power output which means higher load on the fined CFD
10 Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems

Francis turbine: draft tube vortex, with focus on findings of the validation study are firstly the grid
application of new measurement techniques and CFD dependency of the solution and secondly the depend-
Francis turbine and pump turbine: interaction ency on the turbulence model. In a most recent study
between wicket gate and runner, with focus on struc- Nennemann et al. found that the shedding frequency
tural analysis of natural frequencies, CFD analysis is slightly shifted when the transition from laminar
of the time dependent flow and harmonic response to turbulent boundary layer is taken into account
method leading to an improved accuracy of the prediction.
Pelton turbine: jet – bucket interaction, with focus This finding is confirmed by experiments with varying
on excitation and detuning of the runner surface roughness at the blade inlet.
The paper is mainly based on the following pub- As it is well known that the shape of the trailing
lications: Sick et al., Parkinson et al., 2007, Schmied edge strongly influences the intensity of the vortex
et al., 2006. shedding a major focus of the validation study was the
effect of different trailing edge geometries. It could
2. KAPLAN TURBINE: VON KÁRMÁN be shown that indeed the trailing edge geometry
VORTEX SHEDDING AT STAY VANE EXIT determines the interaction of the counter rotating
In 2006 Lockey and Keller published the results vortices. A dovetail modification leads to a partial
of an unsteady CFD simulation of von Kármán vor- elimination of the vortices by forcing the vortices to
tex shedding at the stay vanes of a Canadian hydro move a bit upstream into the centre of the dovetail.
power station. It was the first time that CFD had The Donaldson modification has a similar effect by
been applied to explain in detail the origin of stay shifting one of the two separation points of the bound-
vane failure and to evaluate proposed refurbishment ary layer causing a partial elimination of the vortices,
alternatives. Before applying CFD to the complex see Figure 1. The tendency of the amplitudes as pre-
case of an existing hydro power station Keller vali- dicted by CFD is in agreement with published experi-
dated the CFD method for a NACA009 profile by mental data. However, more detailed validation has
comparing the CFD prediction to measurements of to be done by directly comparing CFD prediction
the HydroDyna project (Ausoni et al. 2006). The main with experimental data.

Blunt trailing edge Dove tail trailing edge Donaldson trailing edge
Amplitude: 100% Amplitude: 84% Amplitude: 32%
Frequency: 100% Frequency: 96% Frequency: 99%
Figure 1. Influence of the trailing edge geometry on the force acting on the blade as predicted by CFD

Dovetail modification of the stay

vane trailing edge

Donaldson modification of the

stay vane trailing edge

Figure 2. CFD simulation of the vortex shedding at the trailing edge of the stay vanes in a hydropower plant
for two different guide vane openings and two different trailing edge geometries. Part load (left) and opti-
mum load (right)
Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 11

In a hydropower plant the vortex shedding inter- Today it is possible to numerically predict the com-
acts with other components as illustrated in Figure 2 plex time dependent flow patterns of von Kármán
which shows the vortex street forming at the stay vane vortex shedding in the stator of a water turbine. The
trailing edge and being entrained along the surface CFD results are sufficiently accurate such that practical
of the subsequent guide vane. Highly complex time problems can be solved. Still, there are some open
dependent flow patterns may arise from this interaction. questions: the prediction of the effect of boundary
Discussion layer transition on the vortex shedding frequency has
1. Flow mechanisms: Applying CFD for the analysis to be further validated, the accuracy of the prediction
of von Kármán vortex shedding at stay vanes in of the separation points of the boundary layer has to
hydropower stations gives considerable insight into be investigated especially for the round trailing edge
the mechanisms which influence both frequency geometry and some more thorough validation of the
and amplitude of the pressure oscillations acting on prediction of the amplitude of the pressure oscillations
the structure. CFD simulations provide information will be needed. It is planned to do more of this valida-
about the wake thickness which is relevant for the tion work in the course of the HydroDyna project at
frequency of the vortex shedding as well as the IMHL, EPFL, Switzerland (
position of the separation points which partly de- scientific-projects/hydrodyna/hydrodyna-project).
termines the amplitude of the pressure oscillation.
2. Frequency and amplitude of pressure pulsations: 3. FRANCIS TURBINE AND PUMP TURBINE
Several comparisons with experiments have been
done which show a good accuracy of the predicted 3.1. Draft tube vortex flow
frequency. Especially for the case that the blade First attempts to predict the complex unsteady flow
thickness of the stay vanes vary with the circum- structure of a draft tube vortex have been undertaken
ferential position a CFD simulation provides valu- about eight years ago and it became very quickly
able information about the von Kármán excitation evident that for this flow which is determined by
frequencies. With respect to the amplitudes of the
vortex dynamics at both small and large scales the
pressure pulsations some good results have been
turbulence model is of crucial importance for the
obtained but more validation work has to be done.
3. Structural response: A structural analysis of the accuracy of the CFD results. A detailed validation of
natural frequencies has been carried out in several the CFD results in comparison to measurements was
cases in order to identify which of the frequencies published in 2002 by Sick et al. As at part load non-
might be in resonance with the von Kármán exci- symmetrical flow patterns become increasingly domi-
tation. In fact, if a natural frequency of the struc- nant the interaction between runner and draft tube
ture coincides with the excitation frequency of the significantly influences the turbine flow. Consequently,
vortex shedding a reduction of the excitation am- both the grid resolution and the modelling of the inter-
plitude by trailing edge modification might not be face between runner and draft tube have to be done
sufficient. Grein and Staehle give the example of with great care as demonstrated by Stein et al. in 2006.
a 184 MW Francis turbine for which stay vane The grid resolution in the runner determines the
failure could not be eliminated by modifying the accuracy of the prediction of the interblade vortices
trailing edge geometry only. It was necessary to and thereby the accuracy of the prediction of velocity
modify the design of the stay vanes such that the profile at draft tube inlet and the vortex rope frequency.
natural frequencies of the structure were shifted. Results of the numerical simulation of the FLINDT
A similar case is reported by Lockey et al., 2006. draft tube at part load operation are shown in Figure 3.
Vortex rotation frequency f
Experiment: f/n = 0.302
Coarse grid: f/n = 0.236
Fine grid: f/n = 0.290

CFD coarse grid CFD fine grid Model test

Figure 3. Grid dependency of the CFD solution: Inter blade vortex and rotational speed of the vortex rope.
Discussion flow mechanisms is a prerequisite for design engi-
Numerical flow simulations of the draft tube vor- neers to optimise the hydraulic design of a turbine
tex flow can be targeted to answer questions about with respect to draft tube vortex flow. Furthermore,
the flow mechanisms. A good understanding of the CFD simulations can deliver information about fre-
12 Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems

quency and amplitude of pressure pulsations in the the lateral forces and bending moments acting on the
prototype, and the effect of cavitation on the pressure shaft of a pump turbine which are caused by the draft
pulsations which enable the effect of the draft tube tube vortex. The agreement between numerical pre-
vortex on the structure to be predicted. Figure 4 shows diction and experimental data is found to be very good.
800 600


0 0
0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0

Number of revolutions Number of revolutions
-800 -600

Lateral Force Fx Lateral Force Fy

80 100

60 80

40 60

20 40
0 20
0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0
-20 0
-40 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0
Number of revolutions Number of revolutions

Bending Moment Mx Bending Moment My

Figure 4. Lateral forces and bending moments on the shaft due to the draft tube vortex: comparison meas-
urement data (grey) and CFD prediction (black)
1. Measurement technique: Considerable progress has gives the quantity of the pressure pulsations. Most
been achieved with respect to experimental insight notably, the synchronous and the asynchronous
into the velocity field of the draft tube vortex part of the pressure excitation can be identified.
(Ciocan et al., 2004) by applying LDA and PIV 4. Effect of cavitation: As cavitation zones introduce
measurements to this complex, time dependent compressibility into the hydraulic system they
flow phenomenon in addition to pressure meas- strongly alter the dynamic behaviour of both the
urements. vortex rope and the hydraulic system. First results of
2. Flow mechanism: CFD simulations show in detail CFD predictions including cavitation were published
the swirl distribution and the backflow zone with the by Stein et al. in 2006 showing strong grid depend-
resulting rotating shear layer and vortex production ency of the results and an unsatisfying accuracy.
in the centre of the draft tube cone. Validation of the 5. Structural response: Forces and moments as con-
CFD results versus measurements of the velocity sequence of the pressure pulsations result directly
field in the draft tube cone show good agreement from a CFD simulation. They have been success-
thus justifying confidence in the CFD results. The fully validated for the shaft of a pump turbine run-
improved insight into the flow mechanisms has given ner (Sick et al, 2004). Ruprecht et al. made a first
rise to attempts to directly influence the pressure attempt to model the whole system and its excita-
pulsations caused by the draft tube vortex. tion by the vortex rope in 2002 but since then there
3. Frequency and amplitude of pressure pulsations: has been no further development of models for the
For both model and prototype the CFD simulation response of the system.
Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 13

During the past few years CFD methods for the by the unsteady flow and on the knowledge of the
prediction of the draft tube vortex flow have been natural frequencies of the structure which again have
developed and applied with great success. Still, there to be either calculated or measured. The latter ap-
are open questions with regard to the accuracy when proach was adopted by Coutu et al. (2004) for the
cavitation is taken into account and with regard to analysis of stress in the St. Marguerite Francis run-
the response of the entire hydraulic system. While ner in order to prove that the suggested geometry
the questions with respect to accuracy of the CFD modification would no more lead to cracks. Since
simulation might be tackled with relatively reason- then further progress has been made especially with
able effort in the near future modelling the hydraulic respect to the analysis of natural frequencies under
system response will be a far more challenging task. the influence of water, see Lais (2007).
3.2. Rotor Stator Interaction CFD simulation of the rotor – stator interaction
Because of relatively high blade loading, high ro-
In turbo machines the interaction between the ro-
tating speed and thick guide vanes and small gaps
tating pressure field caused by the runner with the
the interaction between guide vanes and rotor blades
wakes produced in the wicket gate is the omnipresent
is the main source of vibrations in high head pump
source of dynamic load on the components. All en- turbines. For this reason a pump turbine has been
gineering disciplines – measurement, flow analysis chosen for the first steps towards CFD analysis of
and structural analysis – have to be applied hand in rotor-stator interaction (RSI). At the same time there
hand in order to analyse the dynamic load and the are mechanical conditions in the prototype differing
resulting stress and residual life. Dynamic load as- from test rig which makes prototype measurements
sessment in water turbines is conventionally based necessary as reported by Egusquiza et al., 2006. Thus,
on the proportional approach in which the dynamic the main objective of current research is the combi-
pressure load is assumed to be a fraction of the static nation of reliable CFD predictions of the pressure
pressure, see for example Seidel et al (2006). This oscillations due to RSI with a realistic numerical
approach is still good for many applications but not analysis of the mechanical properties of the prototype
always sufficient. The harmonic response method is such that the response of the structure to the dynamic
far more realistic because it is based on the predicted load can be predicted during the early design phase
or measured time dependent pressure field caused of a turbine runner.

Instantaneous static pressure field Static pressure on the band between two guide vanes
Figure 5. CFD simulation of the pressure field in a pump turbine (left);
comparison CFD prediction - measurement (right)
A CFD method has been set up and validated by correct as can be seen in Figure 5 on the right hand
Keller et al. (2006) for the numerical simulation of side. As the frequency of the pressure oscillation is
the dynamic load on a pump turbine runner which is prescribed by the number of guide vanes and runner
due to the interaction of guide vanes and runner blades. blades on one hand and the rotational speed on the
The prediction of the major excitation frequencies is other hand the signal is mainly a superposition of
14 Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems

a constant part and three distinct frequencies, the With a time dependent CFD simulation of spiral
harmonics of the runner blade passing frequency casing, entire stator and entire rotor it is possible to
(i.e. rotation frequency times number of runner blades). detect the node shapes of the exciting modes. This was
More remarkable is the fact that the amplitudes of demonstrated by comparing the CFD prediction of the
the pressure oscillations are found to be predicted pressure oscillations for two different pump turbine
with very good accuracy. runners – one with 7 blades, the other with 9 blades –
coupled to a 20 guide vanes stator (Keller et al., 2006).

Runner with 7 blades: Phase angle at 3rd Harmonic Runner with 9 blades: Phase angle at 2nd Harmonic
Figure 6 Decomposition of the predicted pressure field shows the shape of the excitation mode:
1 node (left), 2 nodes (right)
According to Tanaka (090) the interaction of tional grid includes not only the runner but also a
stator and rotor leads to pressure waves at rotating surrounding volume representing the water, see
pressure modes which depend on the number of sta- Figure 8, left. Please note that the constellation under
tor channels (zS) and number of runner blades (zR): discussion refers to the situation at the test rig but
k = M ⋅ z R ± N ⋅ z S . While mode 0 represents a stand- not to the runner as it is installed in the plant. Under
ing wave on the rotating runner system the other modes the influence of water the shape of the mode is found
to stay the same see Figure 8, middle and right hand
are rotating with speed nM ( nM = n ⋅ zS ). Pressure side. But the surrounding water strongly influences
modes with negative node number k are counter ro- the value of the natural frequencies reducing them by
tating, those with positive node number are rotating a factor between 0.4 and 0.9 depending on the mode.
with the runner. As shown in Figure 6 the CFD Figure 8 gives the detailed results of the numeri-
simulation exactly reveals the pressure modes as cal prediction on one hand and the measurements of
expected based on the literature. Thus, if the natural the mode shapes of the Francis runner under consid-
frequencies are known from structural analysis the eration on the other hand. Firstly, it can be seen from
this diagram that the numerical prediction and meas-
CFD simulation allows critical excitation modes to be
urement agree very well but also, that some more
identified and further analysed with respect to their
measurement points are needed for a complete valida-
effect on the structure. Furthermore, the CFD simu-
tion of the numerical methods. Secondly, the frequency
lation accurately predicts the direction of the pressure
reduction due to the damping effect of the surround-
wave propagation which is of considerable signifi-
ing water is shown to strongly differ for the different
cance for the vibration behaviour of the whole ma-
modes. For design engineers this information is ex-
chine: pressure waves propagating against the runner
tremely important because it will allow a leaner design
rotation into the spiral casing and further upstream
of the turbines with more targeted safety margins.
can cause undesirable vibrations in the penstock.
3.3. Numerical prediction of natural frequencies 1. Flow mechanisms: A time dependent CFD simula-
A high head Francis turbine runner has been se- tion of the runner together with the stationary com-
lected in order to validate the numerical analysis of ponents reveals the major mechanisms of the rotor
natural frequencies, see Lais (2007). For the simula- stator interaction which take place at the basic
tion of the runner properties in water the computa- frequency (pressure pulsations at rotational speed
Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 15

Computational grid:
runner with surrounding volume

ND2-1 mode: FE prediction of displacement in air ND2-1 mode: FE prediction of displacement in water
Figure 7 FE analysis of Eigenmodes of a high head Francis turbine runner
2000 1.0 Measurement -
Natural Frequency
Frequency Reduction Factor α=fw/fa

1800 0.9 in Air

1600 0.8
Natural Frequency [Hz]

Measurement -
1400 0.7 Natural Frequency
1200 0.6
in Water

1000 0.5 Prediction Natural

Frequency in Air
800 0.4

600 0.3
Prediction Natural
400 0.2
Frequency in Wate
200 0.1

0 0.0














Nodal Diameter Mode ND [-] Reduction Factor

Figure 8 Modal analysis of a Francis runner in air and in water:
comparison numerical prediction – measurement
times number of the blades) and its harmonics. As by CFD when certain standards of grid density,
major effects the flow deviation in the wake of the discretisation scheme (2nd order accurate), time
guide vanes on one hand and the upstream effect of step, computational domain and boundary condi-
the leading edge of the runner blades on the other tions are fulfilled.
hand are identified by CFD with very good accuracy. 3. Structural response: With the information about
2. Frequency and amplitude of pressure pulsations: the flow and the related pressure field gained by a
Frequency, mode and amplitude of the pressure transient CFD simulation it is now possible to calcu-
oscillation are found to be very well represented late the resulting stress at each point of the runner
16 Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems

at each time step. As such a procedure would be (CFD) that has been extensively analysed and vali-
extremely expensive in terms of computing time dated from various sets of unsteady pressure meas-
and memory a leaner approach is chosen: the analy- urements located both at inner and outer surfaces of
sis of the structural response at selected frequencies. buckets achieved at model scale, see Parkinson, 2004.
Based on the developments and the validation Results of the CFD simulation of the water jet in
study presented in this paper it is now possible to the Pelton bucket are shown in Figure 9 for three dif-
numerically predict the natural frequencies of a ferent phases of the interaction process: jet loading,
rotor both in air and in water with very good ac- maximum torque and water evacuation. The flow
curacy. For design engineers this is a significant and its impact on the bucket are visualised by the
step forward towards safety engineering with more water sheet and the static pressure distribution on the
targeted safety margins and design rules. Predict- inner surface of the Pelton bucket. In certain stages
ing the natural frequencies of the prototype allows of the jet bucket interaction there is some impact of
more knowledgeable decisions to be made during the water on the outer bucket surface which cannot
the design phase and less correction such as de- be neglected with respect to the bucket torque and
tuning to be done during the manufacturing phase the according efficiency of the Peton runner. Although
which is beneficial to both turbine manufacturers the CFD simulation takes into account the entire
and power plant operators. bucket surface and its interaction with the jet it has
During the last two years significant progress has been found that the accuracy of the torque predic-
been made in predicting the effect of rotor stator tion is not yet satisfying for these stages (Parkinson
interaction in a pump turbine both on the flow field et al, 2005). More refined modelling of two phase
and on the structure. Still, some more validation work flow, detachment and cavitation zones is required.
has to be done for pump turbines in pump mode and Nevertheless, a CFD simulation as presented here
for other turbine types. Limitations of the CFD simu- provides sufficient data for a reliable structural analy-
lations presented are due to the fact that constant mass sis. For each time step the pressure distribution on
flow and the flow direction are imposed at inlet while the Pelton bucket surface serves as input data for a
at outlet the static pressure is set to an average value. Finite Element Analysis which then reliably predicts
With this approach potential temporal and spatial deformation and stress. At maximum torque the hot
fluctuations in mass flow rate are not taken into ac- spot of the stress is generally to be found in the root
count. Furthermore the fluid is assumed to be incom- zone of the bucket (see Figure 9).
pressible which means that wave speed is infinite. 4.2. Structural analysis of the Pelton bucket
This assumption will have to be questioned in further
research. A typical stress variation in the root consists of a
Also with respect to structural analysis, some more periodic stress related to the cyclic jet impact, with
investigation has to be done. Firstly, more measure- some added stress component induced by the mechani-
cal vibrations of the runner as shown in , left hand
ments points are needed for more thorough validation
side. As the bucket vibration takes place in response
of the prediction of the added mass effect of water.
to the dynamic load it is not possible to simulate it
Secondly, the method has to be applied to and tested
with a quasi static FEM analysis with fairly coarse
for a range of runner types. Thirdly, measurements
time steps as used today (see , right hand side).
and simulations are done in stationary water which
Today, the structural analysis of the Pelton bucket
leaves open the question about the effect of moving
is done in two steps:
water on the structural properties.
• Step 1: Deformation and stress in the bucket as
4. PELTON TURBINE DESIGN: response to the dynamic load due to the jet.
PELTON BUCKET • Step 2: Analysis of the Eigenmodes and natural
frequencies of the bucket and evaluation of safety
4.1. CFD analysis of the jet bucket interaction limits with respect to resonance.
For Pelton runners both the flow field itself and As described in the previous section a state-of-the-
the influence of water on the structural properties are art CFD analysis of the jet flow in the bucket delivers
more difficult to determine than for Francis or Kaplan the pressure distribution on the bucket surface for
turbines because Pelton buckets are moving through each time step with good accuracy thereby enabling
the jets, filling and emptying continuously. With the FEM predicition of both deformation and stress. Based
progress achieved in Pelton turbine CFD and fluid on a number of Pelton buckets for which this proce-
structure coupling (see Parkinson et al., 2007) more dure has been applied there is very good confidence
precise results can be expected in the near future. in this method. Still, some more validation work has
The bucket unsteady loading analysis requires to be done especially in case of very advanced mod-
knowing the unsteady pressure loading in the rotating ern Pelton bucket design. As the shape of a modern
buckets. This is achieved by a flow simulation process Pelton bucket is being optimised with respect to new
Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 17

learnings in flow mechanics as well as with respect might change. Great care has to be taken in order to
to weight reduction the location of highest stress ensure life time.

Water sheet Deformation

Pressure Stress

Angular Step 1: jet loading Angular Step 2:maximum torque, maximum stress at root

Angular Step 3:water evacuation Buckets torque curve

Figure 9. Bucket loading (water sheets, pressure, stress, deformation, maximum values are red), (KOPSWERK II)

Figure 10. Stress variation with time in the Pelton bucket: measurement (left),
CFD simulation and FEM analysis (right)
18 Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems

New developments are taking place in the analysis Some typical natural bucket modes are shown in
of Eigenmodes and measures to prevent resonance in Figure 11. The relevant mode in operation is the bend-
Pelton runners. In contrast to former simple methods ing mode in circumferential direction, which, in some
of looking at the Pelton bucket as a single mass system cases, can be combined with a vibration of the buckets’
Schmied and Angehrn (2006) published a method rim. In the right hand side of Figure 11 the lowest
which allows the determination of the Eigenmodes six natural modes of the BIEUDRON runner are
of the Pelton runner as a coupled multi mass system. presented. It can be seen that, for the natural modes
Based on excitation measurements on a number of with a higher number of nodal diameters, the mode
individual buckets on one hand and an iterative solu- shape resembles a pure bucket vibration. The frequen-
cies of these modes are almost equal. In case of the
tion of the transfer matrix on the other hand it is
theoretical model with identical buckets the 5 jets
possible to determine the parameters of the Pelton
would excite the 6th mode with 5 nodal diameters at
runner as coupled multi-mass system and thereby to 762 Hz, the lower modes shown in the figure would
determine a detuning procedure if needed. not be excitable.

Typical natural modes of a Pelton bucket

Calculated frequencies of the lowest 6 natural modes of bucket bending vibration: f i (i=1-6) = 508 / 576 /
706 / 760 / 761 / 762 Hz (i = number of mode, n = i–1 = number of nodal diameters) – BIEUDRON
Figure 11 Most important natural modes of a Pelton runner: bucket (left) entire runner (right)
Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 19

The next step in the near future will be to drasti- and ensure structural safety at the same time. CFD
cally reduce the need for detuning by applying FEM prediction is also being used for gaining insight into
analysis of the Eigenmodes in an early phase of the flow phenomena with strong two phase character
design process. As shown in the previous chapter for such as the dispersion of the jet or the detachment at
a Francis runner today’s structural simulation meth- the outer surface of the Pelton bucket. It has been
ods allow natural frequencies to be determined with found that for these phenomena there is still need for
good accuracy and with affordable computing effort. improved models. Considerable progress is being
The same applies to Pelton runners where some more made in the field of structural analysis and a today’s
validation work has to be done, especially in order detailed analysis of deformation and stress is based
to determine the influence of water on the Eigen- on detailed input data. Yet, more validation work is
modes of the runner. needed, especially with respect to the prediction of
Discussion natural modes under the influence of water.
1. Measurement technique: For the observation and
quantitative measurement on Pelton jet new optical
measurement technique was developed during the In order to meet the challenge of designing leaner
last few years (Parkinson et al, 2005). At the same turbines with higher power output engineering meth-
time, pressure measurement techniques have been ods are being further improved and validated. Main
refined in order to obtain more detailed information target of these developments is the reliable prediction
on the pressure distribution in Pelton buckets. of the dynamic load and the according structural
2. Flow mechanisms: Measurements are then used response. It is expected that these developments will
to validate the CFD prediction of the jet – bucket provide more targeted safety rules which allow design
interaction leading to good confidence in the reli- optimisation with respect to both performance and
ability of the CFD prediction of the pressure dis- safety.
tribution on the bucket surface. This reliability is Progress has been taking place in all disciplines
extremely important as the CFD results serve as of engineering:
input for the structural analysis. Still, refinement R Measurement techniques:
has to be done in the field of modelling genuine • PIV measurement of the draft tube vortex,
two phase flow phenomena: As observed for vari- LDA measurement in the Pelton jet
ous projects, the real jet diameter is influenced by • Unsteady pressure distribution in the Pelton
dispersion – an effect which is not yet sufficiently bucket
modelled by today’s CFD methods. Therefore, the • Determination of structural properties under
jet diameter is usually prescribed based on theoreti- the influence of water
cal considerations. Similarly, the effect of water R CFD simulation of the three major flow mecha-
detachment at the outer surface of the bucket nisms which lead to vibration in water turbines:
requires refined two phase flow models and is not • Draft tube vortex flow at part load
yet predicted sufficiently accurately to allow a • Von Kármán vortex shedding at stay vanes
precise prediction of the hydraulic efficiency of • Unsteady interaction between guide vanes and
a Pelton runner. runner blades
3. Structural response: Both the mean and the dynamic R FEM prediction of stress due to dynamic load and
load on a Pelton bucket are well predicted by mod- structural properties
ern CFD methods and serve as reliable input for a • Fluid structure coupling
structural analysis. Modern Finite Element Analysis
• Natural frequencies of a structure which is
has proven to deliver realistic values of deformation
immersed in water
and stress and thus can be relied on with respect
• Harmonic response analysis
to dynamic load. A field of further development is
the analysis of natural frequencies without and Significant progress has been made and still, more
with influence of water. Today’s measurement investigation is needed in order to achieve reliable
and analysis methods give excellent insight into results for a wider application range. In the case of
the structural properties but some more validation the draft tube vortex flow there are still open questions
and development have to be done. with respect to the effect of cavitation and system
A major step in Pelton turbine design is the pos- response. Some more validation work is required for
sibility to obtain reliable and detailed information the numerical prediction of the von Kármán vortex
about the pressure distribution and, as consequence, shedding and these results still have to be transferred
about the stress in the Pelton bucket. With this ability to runner trailing edges in a future step. Rotor stator
it is possible to further develop Pelton bucket design interaction and its effect on the dynamic pressure field
20 Proceedings of the 2nd IAHR International Meeting of the Workgroup on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems

are found to be well predictable even under simpli- 10. Nennemann, B., Vu, T.C., Ausoni, Ph., Farhat, M.J.L.,
fying assumptions such as incompressibility and Avellan, F., ”Unsteady CFD prediction of von Kármán
constant mass flow but more validation is needed, vortex shedding in hydraulic turbine stay vanes”, to
be published in Proceedings of Hydro2007, Granada,
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Spain, October 15-17, 2007.
simulation method by comparison to measurement 11. Parkinson E., Weiss Th., Neury C., Kuntz M., Braune A.,
data will be a major task for structural analysis as “Computational analysis in Pelton hydraulic turbines”,
well, especially for the installed prototype runner. In 22nd CAD FEM Users’ Meeting, Dresden, Germany,
addition, the effect of water on natural frequencies, 2004
also in the case of Pelton turbines, requires further 12. E. Parkinson, C. Neury, H. Garcin, G. Vullioud, Weiss,
investigation. Th., “Unsteady Analysis of a Pelton Runner with Flow
and Mechanical Simulations”, Proceedings of Hydro
2005, Villach, Austria, October 17-20, 2005.
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IAHR Int. Meeting of WG on Cavitation and Dynamic Th., “Simulation of the Vortex Rope in a Turbine Draft
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celona, Spain, June 28 – 30, 2006. Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, Lausanne, Switzer-
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Machinery and Systems, Lausanne, Switzerland, Sep- Casey, M. “CFD Simulation of the Draft Tube Vortex”,
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of Large Francis Turbines”, Escher Wyss News 1/1978. tember 9-12, 2002.
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