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Proceedings of the Eleventh 0001) h~ternational Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference Stavanger, Norway, June 17-22, 2001

Copyright 2001 by The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers ISBN 1-880653-51-6 (SeO; ISBN 1-880653-52-4 (Vol. I); ISSN 1098-6189 (SeO

Experimental and CFD Analysis of 0.6m Impulse Turbine with Fixed Guide Vanes
A. Thakker, P. Frawley, H.B. Khaleeq, Y. Abugihalia
Uni versi t y of L i m e r i c k L i m e r i c k , Ireland

T. Setoguchi
Saga University Saga, Japan


This paper presents the comparison of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis with Experimental analysis of 0.6m Impulse Turbine with Fixed Guide Vanes used for wave energy power conversion. A 2D-cascade model was used for CFD analysis while uni-directional steady flow was used for experimental analysis. The blade and guide vane geometry is based on 0.6m rotor diameter, with optimum profile, and a hub to tip ratio of 0.6. The aim of this paper is to report comparison of CFD performance data with experimental results, and to benchmark/validate CFD analysis.

These devices utilize the principle of an Oscillating Water Column (OWC). OWC based Wave Energy Power Plants convert wave energy into low-pressure pneumatic power in the form of bi-directional airflow. Self-rectifying air turbines (which are capable of operating uni-directionally in bi-directional airflow) are used to extract mechanical shaft power, which is further converted into electrical power by a generator. Two different turbines are currently in use around the world for wave energy power generation, Wells Turbine, introduced by Dr. A. A. Wells in 1976 and Impulse Turbine with guide vanes by Kim et al., (1988). Both these turbines are currently in operation in different power plants in Europe and Asia on experimental as well as commercial basis. Currently, research around the world is focused on improving the performance of both these turbines under different operating conditions. The ultimate purpose of this research is to improve the performance of Impulse turbine with fixed guide vanes for Wave Energy Power conversion by modifying different blade and guide vane geometry parameters, (Khaleeq, 2000). Therefore, as the starting point, it was decided to use a different hub to tip ratio of 0.6 compared to the already published and established optimum value of 0.7 (Setoguchi, 1999). The said turbine was designed, manufactured and tested at unidirectional steady flow testing facilities at University of Limerick, (Thakker, 2000a). This paper presents the work carried out to compare experimental results with 2D CFD analysis.

KEYWORDS" Wave Energy, Impulse Turbine, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

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blade height torque coefficient input coefficient chord length of rotor blade pressure drop flow rate mean radius mean axial flow velocity number of rotor blades turbine efficiency under steady flow setting angle of fixed guide vane hub-to-tip ratio flow coefficient circumferential velocity at rR angular velocity of turbine rotor

D E S I G N AND M A N U F A C T U R E OF I M P U L S E TURBINE A 0.6m diameter Impulse turbine rotor with a hub to tip ratio of 0.6 was designed and manufactured at University of Limerick, Ireland for the said performance analysis. Basic blade and guide vane profile parameters were based on the optimum design parameters published by Prof. T. Setoguchi in 1999 (Setoguchi, (1999) and Setoguchi et al., (2001)). Blade chord length is 100mm. A 2D sketch of 0.6m turbine rotor and guide vanes is shown in Figure 1. A 3D model of blades and hub was generated in CAD package ProEngineer v2000i. The blade model was used to manufacture turbine

INTRODUCTION For the last two decades, Scientists have been investigating and defining different methods for power extraction from wave motion.


blades on FDM (Fused Decomposition Modeling) Rapid prototyping machine using ABS Plastic. The dimensional accuracy and surface finish achieved was up to the required standard as reported in Thakker et al., (2000b & 2000c). Two sets of mirror image copper guide vanes with a chord length of 131.38mm were manufactured using conventional sheet/metal and welding procedures.

motor/generator via a torquemeter. The two guide vanes were mounted on the up-stream and down-stream hubs of the rig. The turbine was tested by keeping a constant axial velocity of 8.49 m/s. Data was collected by varying the rotational speed from 1250 rpm to 125 rpm, thus giving a flow co-efficient range of 0.27 to 2.7 under unidirectional steady flow conditions. The Reynolds number based on the blade chord length was 0.74 x 105 at peak efficiency.

The overall performance of the turbine was evaluated by the turbine angular velocity m, torque generated T, flow rate Q, and total pressure drop 8P across the rotor. The results are expressed in the form of torque coefficient CT, input power coefficient CA and efficient rl in terms of flow coefficient ~. The definitions are given below Torque Co-efficient CT = T / { 9 (Va2 + UR2)b ir Z rR / 2 } Input Co-efficient CA = 8p Q / { p (va 2 + UR2) b lr z Va / 2} Flow Co-efficient
~) = Va/U R

b t ~

(1) (2)

Figure 1.0.6m Impulse Turbine with fixed guide vanes

Efficiency 1"1= Tm/SpQ = CT/CA~ The performance characteristics can be seen in Figure 5


EXPERIMENTAL FACILITIES & METHODOLOGY A schematic layout of the experimental rig at University of Limerick is shown in Figure 2. It consists of a bell mouth entry, 0.6m test section, drive and transmission section, a plenum chamber with honeycomb section, a calibrated nozzle and a centrifugal fan. Air is drawn into the bell mouth shaped open end, it passes through the turbine and then enters the plenum chamber. In the chamber, the flow is conditioned and all swirls/vortices are removed prior to passing through a calibrated nozzle and finally exhausting at the fan outlet. The flow rate is controlled by using a valve at fan exit. The maximum diameter of the test section is 0.6m with a hub-tip ratio of 0.6. Details of the test rig calibration etc. can be found in Thakker et al., (2001).


Computational Domain
The domain extended to 8.5 Chord lengths upstream and down stream, it is restricted to one blade to blade and guide vane to guide vane passage with periodic boundaries.

Boundary condition
It was necessary to set up three fluid zones using Sliding mesh technique. The three Zones are the upstream guide vane, the rotor and the downstream guide vane. Inflow is set as mass flow inlet, outflow is set as pressure outlet and Periodic walls are set as transational to allow cascade effect on blade and guide vane to be simulated. The fluid at rotor is defined as a moving reference frame with the angular speed equivalent to that of the blade (350 rpm). The flow is set as fully turbulent.





The mesh and the solver

The model was meshed in Gambit TM. The domain was meshed using an unstructured mesh. The model was meshed with 350 cells on the blade surface and total of 13000 cells. Initial trials has been carried out with grid size 8000, 13,000 and 22000 cells and the results from each grid were very similar. It was found however, that an improvement in the cell aspect ratio at the inlet and outlet was required to speed up convergence with mass flow inlet boundary. For this reason, the medium density grid was remeshed, giving 13,000 cells on total (Figure 3). The model was analyzed using the Fluent 5 TM. The solver used was a segregated solver as the flow is incompressible.


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Turbulence Modeling
Figure 2. Schematic diagram of 0.6m diameter test rig at University of Limerick. The turbine was mounted on a shaft in a cylindrical annular duct, with a blade tip clearance of l mm. The shaft is coupled to a Fluent provides a number of turbulence models, the default one being the k-e model. The other models are the RNG k-e model and the Reynolds Stress Equation Model. The generic k-~ model focuses on the mechanisms that affect turbulent Kinetic energy. The standard k-~ model has two equations, one for turbulent Kinetic energy k, and one for dissipation, e, The second turbulence model used by Fluent is a


Variation of k-e model and called the RNG k-e model. The Reynolds stress equations model analyses the effects of the turbulent flow rather than the flow itself. Turbulence flow basically consists of an instantaneously fluctuating flow superimposed on a steady mean flow. By integrating the basic flow equations the Reynolds mean stress equations discard all details concerning the instantaneous state of the fluctuating flow and new stress terms are obtained, called the Reynolds stresses. Initial comparisons between the different turbulence models found that all the models gave very similar result.



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The Boussinesq hypothesis is assumed for turbulence closure Periodic pCbtK 2 btt - ~ g (9)

Guide vane

Periodic Blade C~ = 0.09

Guide vane


Solution Adaptive Refinement Boundary layers have a multi-layered structure, consisting of an extremely thin laminar sub-layer adjacent to the wall, along with a buffer zone and a turbulent core. Since the number of cells required to completely model the turbulent boundary layer would be prohibitively expensive computationally, the effect of the wall boundaries are represented by wall-functions. The wall function equations, depending on which type is used, are used to include boundary layer and therefore it is necessary to ensure that the wall adjacent cells lie within an appropriate distance from the wall. The non-dimensional parameter that defines the location of the cell relative to the wall is given by

y+ _ a_y vrWp
Figure 3. Cell Distribution over the Domain


Solver Parameter Fluent TM treats each cell in the domain as a finite volume with a node at its center and the flow properties for the entire model are solved at each of these nodes. In order to predict the flow properties at the edge of control volume, the flow properties must be interpolated between two nodal points. The discretisation scheme governs the accuracy of this interpolation by controlling the number of terms in Taylor series used for the interpolation. The discretisation scheme found to be the most accurate was the second order scheme; this scheme was the highest order available in the code being used. Navier-Stokes Transport Equations FLUENT V5 solves the Navier-Stokes equations for conservation of mass and momentum (equations 5, 6, 7 and 8). Additional conservation of k and e are solved for turbulence closure. Governing Navier-Stokes transport equations of conservation of

Where Ayp is the physical distance from the wall to the node or from the center of the walls of the adjacent cells. The type of wall function to be used will determine the range of value required for Y+ .The standard wall function is the log-law and this is valid for Y+ between 30-60.
The procedure for the grid refinement was to first solve the problem with initial grid. The software then calculated the value of Y+ for each cell. The cells with a Y+ value greater than the threshold supplied by the analyst were then marked for adaptation. The grid was then refined in these areas and the model was re-run, using the first solution as initial input. This procedure was repeated until no further improvements in the results were obtained. This refinement was carried out with fully turbulent models and resulted in an increase of 25-40% in the number of grid cells, Figure 4. This refined grid was then used to model the domain at various flow coefficients.




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is due to the fact, that the tip gap losses are not considered in the CFD analysis. Therefore the actual pressure drop measured during experiments is higher then the CFD predicted pressure drop across the rotor. This is fact can be observed from the large difference in CFD results and experimental data. The combined effect of lower losses prediction and reasonably close torque prediction from CFD results is that we get higher efficiency from 2D CFD analysis. Therefore we can say that 2D CFD is not capable of picking up 3D losses in the system and for better and more realistic performance predictions, 3D CFD analysis are required.

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Toruqe coefficient vs Flow coefficient




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Figure 4. Plot of mesh around blade surface showing boundary layer refinement



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RESULTS AND D I S C U S S I O N The performance of the turbine using CFD analysis was compared with the results obtained through experiments (Figure 5). It can be observed from the Figure, that all the three turbulence models used in CFD are giving higher efficiency as compared to experimental results and have almost similar efficiency predictions. This is due to the fact that this turbine operates at a low Reynolds number. The difference in the efficiency between experimental and CFD results are because the CFD results are based on 2D analysis and tip gap losses are not taken into account. Due to this fact, actual pressure drops across the rotor cannot be depicted. These are the main reasons that the CFD analysis is predicting a higher efficiency as compared to experimental analysis.
Efficiency vs Flow coefficient
. . . . . . . . . . . .







Flow coefficient

Figure 6. Torque co-efficient vs Flow co-efficient

Coefficient of Input vs Flow Coefficient

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Flow Coefficient

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1. RNG-model O RSM model * ExpVa8.49

Figure 7. Input co-efficient vs Flow co-efficient

0-I 0 1.25 1.5 1.75

Figure 5. Efficiency vs flow co-efficient To further this discussion, co-efficient of torque (Ca-) verses flow coefficient (~) and co-efficient of input (CA) verses flow co-efficient (~) plots are given in Figure 6 and 7 respectively. From Figure 6, it can be observed that the difference in CFD and experimental values is small and experimental results are giving higher torque co-efficient. Where as in Figure 7, we can see that the input co-efficient for experimental results is much higher than what we get from CFD. This

Along with the performance prediction, the flow numerical analysis was performed to grasp the relationship between the specifications of turbine and the internal flow behavior of impulse turbine with fixed guide vanes under steady flow condition. Figure 8 shows the velocity vector field at @= 1.19 and Figure 9 gives the pressure contours. We can see that the upstream guide vane accelerates the flow prior to the rotor and obviously optimal performance is obtained when relative inlet flow angle is equal to blade inlet angle. The flow at the downstream guide vane is seen to separate and could be due to the high diffuser angle. CONCLUSIONS The 2D CFD results for 0.6m Impulse turbine with fixed guide vanes were extrapolated to predict 3D performance and are giving similar trends as what we get from experimental analysis, which is a good sign. Although the magnitude is different which is due to the fact that


2D analysis cannot depict losses in the system very accurately. Therefore there is a need for 3D CFD analysis to over come these shortcomings in 2D CFD analysis on which authors are currently working.
_ _ 4.:~9e01

Khaleeq, H.B. (2000). "Design analysis of 0.6m Impulse Turbine with fixed guide vanes for wave energy conversion". Proceedings of 4 th Sir Bernard Crossland Symposium, 6-7 December 2000, UCD, Dublin, Ireland. Kim, T.W., Kaneko, K., Setoguchi, T., Inoue, M., (1988). "Aerodynamic performance of an Impulse turbine with self-pitchcontrolled guide vanes for wave power generator". Proceedings of the 1"t KSMY-JSME Thermal and Fluids Engineering Conference, Korea. Setoguchi, T., (1999). "A review of impulse turbine for wave power energy conversion".



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Setoguchi, T., Santhakumar, S., Maeda, H., Takao, M. and Kaneko, K., (2001). "A review of Impulse Turbines for wave energy conversion," Renewable Energy 23 (2001), pp 261-292

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Figure 8: Velocity vectors

Thakker, A., Frawley, P., Bajeet, E.S., (2001). "Experimental investigation of CA9 blades on a 0.6m Wells Turbine Rig". To be published in the proceedings of the 4 th European Conference on Turbomachinery, Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics, Florence, Italy. Thakker, A., Khaleeq, H.B., and Setoguchi, T., (2000a). "Performance comparison of 0.3m and 0.6m Impulse turbine with fixed guide vanes Part I". Proceedings of the 4 th European Wave Energy Conference, Aalborg, Denmark. Thakker, A., Sheahan, C., Frawley, P., Khaleeq, H.B., (2000b). "The concurrent engineering approach to the manufacture of Impulse turbine blades". Proceedings of the 4 th International Conference on Managing Innovative Manufacturing (MIM 2000), Birmingham, UK. Thakker, A., Sheahan, C., Frawley, P., Khaleeq, H.B., (2000c). "The concurrent engineering approach to the manufacture of Impulse turbine blades using Rapid Prototyping Machine". Proceedings of the 17t~' Annual Conference of the Irish Manufacturing Committee (IMC-17), Galway, Ireland



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Figure 9: Pressure contours

The results obtained from this analysis will be further extended to 3D modeling of the same turbine for 3D CFD analysis to predict the behavior of the said turbine more accurately.

Authors would also like to acknowledge the financial support given by the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering (MAE), and Wave Energy Research Team (WERT) at University of Limerick. We would also like to acknowledge the help extended during the manufacturing and experimental phase, by the technicians of the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering (MAE) and Department of Manufacturing & Operations Engineering (MOE). Authors would also like to thank all the members of Wave Energy Research Team (WERT), for their support and assistance.