Back to Knowledge Hub

Towards accurate vibration prediction of pump-turbine runners in deep partial load operation

Authors: K Khalfaoui, M Zorn and S Riedelbauch

View downloads


Within the XFLEX HYDRO project, operating power plants in low load conditions is being investigated as one of the possibilities to enhance the flexibility of hydropower. Therefore, the structural dynamic behaviour of a pump-turbine runner is numerically analysed in deep partial load (DPL) operating points. Based on highly resolved unsteady CFD simulations performed prior to this work, the pressure fluctuations are extracted and mapped onto the structure for subsequent Finite Element (FE) analyses. Herein, an efficient hybrid methodology combining purely structural and coupled Fluid-Structure-Interaction (FSI) modelling is applied. The obtained simulation results are compared to experimental measurements. Herein, the influence of several factors such as the CFD mesh size, the turbulence model, the simulated time window width, and the structural simulation type is studied. As a result, the numerical outcome is validated with good accuracy. The importance of highly resolved CFD simulations with appropriate turbulence modelling is highlighted. Besides, the necessity of coupled acoustic-structural analyses to accurately resolve the dynamic response to excitation by rotor stator interaction (RSI) pressure shapes is demonstrated despite the chaotically dominated nature of the structural vibrations. The results of this work can be used to extend the operating range of the pump-turbine runner and, most importantly, to calibrate numerical models to predict the structural vibrations accurately and efficiently in DPL and finally ensure safe operation of these components.

To read the full research paper, follow this link