The 11th Asian International Conference on Fluid Machinery and The 3rd Fluid Power Technology Exhibition

Paper ID: AICFM_TM_016 Paper number xxxxxxxxx

November 21-23, 2011, IIT Madras, Chennai, India

Original Paper

Evaluation of Hydro Turbine design by Computational Fluid Dynamics
Kiran Patel1, Jaymin Desai2, Vishal Chauhan2 and Shahil Charnia2, Manager, CFD Analysis Center, R & D Hydraulics, Jyoti Ltd.,, Executive, CFD Analysis Center, R & D Hydraulics, Jyoti Ltd., Nanubhai Amin Marg, Industrial Area, P.O.Chemical Industries, Vadodara-390003, Gujarat, India.
CFD analysis is widely used at Jyoti Ltd. for Hydro Turbines development. This paper includes CFD analysis of Francis turbine (Ns=165) and validation of CFD result with experimental result. CFD analysis of complete system (Spiral Casing + Stay vane + Guide Vane + Runner + Draft tube) is conducted at BEP as well as at part load and performance along with losses of various components predicted. Predicted CFD analysis results are compared with experimental results and they show good agreement. This case becomes guidelines for our future new development project.


Keywords: Francis Turbine, CFD Analysis of turbine, BEP (Best Efficiency Point)

1. Introduction
Jyoti Ltd. is supplying small hydropower equipment since last 3 decades to Indian and overseas market. There are four basic types of turbines i.e. Francis, Kaplan, Pelton and Turgo, supplied by Jyoti ltd. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is latest state of art technological tool which is used by designer for evaluation of hydraulic design of Turbine. This paper describes the evaluation of our Francis turbine design by CFD. It starts with specification of design, modeling, mesh generation, problem definition and performance evaluation using CFD. Also at the end, CFD analysis results are compared with experimental results.

2. Specification of Francis Turbine
This Francis turbine design is used for head range of 50 to 142 m and discharge range of 1 to 7 m 3/sec. It is installed at no. of sites and it gives satisfactory output. It is one of our successful designs hence we decided to study and analyze using CFD. There are four basic steps involved in CFD analysis i.e. Geometric modeling, Mesh generation, Problem definition & solution, Post processing of result.

3. Geometric Modeling
Francis turbine consists of four basic components i.e. Spiral casing with stay vane, guide vane, runner and draft tube. For CFD analysis, we need to make the model of flow passage of water passing though each component. Fig.1 shows geometric model of flow passage of water of each components. All the components are made using commercial software. Assembly of all the components is also shown in Fig. 1.

4. Mesh generation
Mesh is generated using commercial meshing software. Grid generation is most important as CFD result quality depends on it. We have used tetra and prism elements. Skew, aspect ratio of meshing elements are within limits. Total quality of grid is as per industry standard, and results are independent from it. Fig. 2.A Shows mesh generated in all of the components. In addition, grid sensitivity test has been done and CFD results are mesh independent. Detail of no of nodes in each component is given in Table 1.
Accepted for publication. Corresponding author: Kiran Patel,


Fig. 1 Francis Turbine Components


Figure 2(A): Meshing of Francis Turbine components

Table 1: Element generated in each component Sr. No. 1 2 3 4 Components Spiral Casing Guide vane Runner Draft tube No. of Nodes 999566 963900 1228124 277931

In case of runner and draft tube flow separation is taking place. To capture boundary layer flow separation we have used prism elements at wall boundary. To know whether we have captured effectively boundary layer, our y+ value in flow separation zone should be less than 20. Using this we can predict correct head loss value for component. Fig. 2.B shows y+ plot on runner blade & draft tube and its value is within limit.


Figure 2(B): Y+ Plot for runner and draft tube

5. Problem Definition
Steady state single-phase (only water) CFD analysis is accomplished for Francis turbine. All the components have been used in analysis and complete system CFD analysis accomplished. At outlet atmospheric pressure and at spiral casing inlet total discharge is specified as boundary condition as shown in Fig. 3. Solid surface of all the components is considered as a wall boundary with no slip condition. Spiral casing, guide vane and draft tube are considered as stationary domain as they are stationary components & runner is considered as rotating domain as it is rotating component and solved with Multiple Frame of Reference (MFR) model. Domain interface has been used for all the components to be attached with each other. Frozen rotor interface is used to attach runner with guide vane and draft tube. Shear Stress Transport (SST) is used as turbulence model with high resolution as advection scheme. Convergence criteria is Max 10-4 is considered with automatic time step. Computation is performed at three different guide vane openings and result is discussed as follows.

Figure 3: Problem definition of Francis Turbine components

6. Result and Discussion
Francis turbine complete system CFD analysis has been accomplished at three-different guide vane openings corresponding to three different loading on turbine from BEP to overload. Detail discussion on results is as follows: Fig. 4 shows pressure and velocity contour plot at central plane. Here 100% load means it is for the rated discharge value and 112% and 123% load is for the overload discharge values. It shows gradual reduction in pressure from inlet of spiral casing to exit of runner. Drop in static pressure into casing is almost insignificant and only friction loss is taking place. When water enters into guide vane


passage from casing, according to opening of guide vane static pressure drop takes place. In the present case, at BEP drop in static pressure is higher compared to overloading opening as shown in Fig.4. This causes higher velocity at exit of guide vane, which increases friction losses as well. In addition, when opening is changing, the swirl with water is entering into runner is also getting changed. This change in swirl at inlet of runner causes shock losses at leading edge, which also develops, and increase flow separation.

Figure 4: Pressure and Velocity contour plot at center plane Fig. 5 (a) Shows pressure contour plot on meridional plane of runner. It shows how gradually reduction in static pressure from inlet to exit of runner. Fig. 5 also shows blade loading which is pressure distribution on two sides of runner blade. It shows, as the loading increases pressure difference between two sides of blade also increases. Because of this rise in pressure difference, torque also increases and hence power output increases. Fig. 5 (b) shows Blade loading on the runner blades. As there are 13 blades, more than one line are there in the blade loading chart at hub, middle and shroud location each. Stream wise 0-1on the x-axis denotes percentage distance between runner leading edge to the runner trailing edge. Blade loading also shows gradual reduction in pressure from inlet to outlet, which gives sign of good design.

Figure 5 (a): Pressure contour plot on meridional plane of runner





Figure 5 (b): Blade loading of runner Fig.6 Shows velocity streamlines plots in blade-to-blade view on hub and shroud of runner and guide vane. It shows how water is entering into the runner from guide vane. As flow is entering with shock at runner inlet, flow separation took place at all operating load. This flow separation is inevitable and its intensity depends on operating load. Flow separation is one of main parameter of head loss in runner. In addition, Fig.6 shows that flow velocity at shroud is very high and this causes higher friction losses into the runner.

Figure 6: Velocity plots at various loading condition for guide vane and runner Fig. 7 Shows velocity vector plot at various loading condition in draft tube. It shows that the flow separation zone inside draft tube increases as operating load increases. Water is coming out from runner at high velocity with swirl and meridional component. Swirl component increases with operating load. This swirl component kinetic energy is not converted into pressure energy at inlet cone of draft tube, hence head loss increases, and flow separation increases. In case of draft tube, flow separation takes place because of swirl and change in direction of flow using draft tube bend.


Mixing of high & low momentum zone low

Mixing of high & low momentum zone Flow Separation

Mixing of high & low momentum zone Flow Separation

Figure 7: Velocity vectors plots at various loading condition for draft tube


Fig. 8 Shows head loss of various components of Francis turbine. It shows that maximum head loss takes place into the runner and it increases with operating load. This head loss in runner is due to flow separation and friction loss. In case of guide vane, h ead loss decreases as operating load increases. Reduction in head loss in guide vane is due to reduction in velocity because of higher opening, which reduce skin friction losses, and due to lower drop in static pressure. When Guide vane is operated from fully close to fully open, it is just like nozzle and as operating load increases; guide vane opening should increase. Hence, it functions like nozzle in which by opening and closing you can change discharge as well as static pressure drop. At lower opening static pressure drop is higher hence, head loss is also high. In case of casing, as load increases discharge increases. Because of increase of discharge, velocity inside casing also increases, which causes high skin friction losses. Hence, in casing as loading increases, head loss also increases. In case of draft tube, as operating load increases head loss also increases. This is because of lower pressure recovery and flow separation in side draft tube. 6 5

Head loss (%) 4 3 2 1 0 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25 Guide vane Runner

Q11 (Non-dimensional)
Figure 8: Head loss of components Fig. 9 shows comparison of experimental and CFD result. Trend of both the result is same and shows very narrow gap between test and CFD result. CFD performance prediction shows good agreement with experimental result. Q11 = Q /Q BEP (Testing) η11=η/ η BEP (Testing) (1.) (2.)

1.0042 η11 Efficiency (Non-dimensional) 0.9992 0.9942 0.9892 0.9842 0.9792 0.9742 0.9692 0.9642 Test CFD








Q11 (Non-dimensional) Figure 9: Comparison of Experimental and CFD result


7. Conclusion
The present study helps us to determine basic flow physics in various components. It also helps us to determine basic causes for losses in various components. With this evaluation study, we determined basic two types of losses i.e. skin friction and secondary flow or flow separation, occurred in various components. In addition, we have ascertained the trend of losses and flow pattern in various components and which becomes our guideline for our future new design assignments. Comparison of experimental and CFD results also shows good agreement. This gives us an assurance that performance prediction by CFD is in line with experimental result.

We are grateful to Jyoti ltd. as well as all the persons involved directly or indirectly without the help of which this task of design evaluation of Francis turbine might not be possible. Nomenclature BEP η11 η ηBEP(Testing) Best Efficiency Point Non dimensional efficiency Efficiency at particular point Efficiency from testing results at rated point Q11 Q QBEP(Testing) y+ Non dimensional discharge Discharge at particular point Rated Discharge measured during testing Dimensionless distance of the first node from the wall

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