The draft tube is an integral part of reaction turbine, and its design criteria should bespecified by the turbine manufacturer. The draft tube used in hydraulic reaction turbine hasgradual increase in cross sectional area from its inlet to outlet. It is one of the importantcomponents of reaction turbine and connects runner exit to tail race. The main functions of draft tube is to allow the installation of turbine above the tail race level without loss of headand to convert major part of kinetic energy coming out of runner into pressure energy. Inmixed flow reaction turbines, kinetic energy from runner is up to 15% whereas in low headand high speed axial flow turbines, kinetic energy leaving the runner may go up to 50% of total input energy. The recovery of kinetic energy is achieved by increasing the cross-sectional area of the draft tube in the flow direction.It has two important functions
To enable the turbine to be se above the tailwater level without losing any headthereby. A reduced pressure is produced at the upper end of the draft tube, whichcompensates for the height at which the turbine runner is set. Within limits the turbinecan be set at different elevations without altering the net head. By its use there is anunbroken stream of liquid from headwater to tail water.
The second function of the draft tube is to reduce the head loss at submergeddischarge to thereby increase the net head available to the turbine runner. This isaccomplished by using a gradually diverging tube whose cross-sectional area atdischarge is considerably larger than the cross-sectional area at entrance to the tube.
Types of Draft Tubes
As shown in Figure 5.23, the draft tubes are of the following
onical or divergent draft tube(2)
Elbow type draft tube(3)
Hydracone or Moody spreading draft tube
onical or divergent draft tube:
The shape of the tube resembles that of a frustrum of a cone. It is commonlyused in the Francis turbine. The cone angle varies from 4° to 8°. The efficiency of theconical tube is about 8.5% to 90%.
Elbow type draft tube:
It may be in the form of a simple elbow type or elbow tube with a circuit inletand a rectangular outlet section. The latter type is used in the Kaplan turbine with anefficiency of about 70%.
ydracone or Moody spreading draft tube:
This is a modification of conical tube and a solid conical cone is provided inthe centre of the tube with a flare at the bottom end. Such an arrangement allows alarge exit area without excessive length. The solid core at the centre enables full flowand reduces the eddy losses. The efficiency of the tube is about 85%.