Evaluation of runner cone extension to dampen pressure pulsations in a Francis model turbine
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environment. 2016, 49 (8), . 10.1088/1755-1315/49/8/082019
Today's energy market has a high demand of flexibility due to introduction of other intermittent renewables as wind and solar. To ensure a steady power supply, hydro turbines are often forced to operate more at part load conditions. Originally, turbines were built for steady operation around the best efficiency point. The demand of flexibility, combined with old designs has showed an increase in turbines having problems with hydrodynamic instabilities such as pressure pulsations. Different methods have been investigated to mitigate pressure pulsations. Air injection shows a significant reduction of pressure pulsation amplitudes. However, installation of air injection requires extra piping and a compressor. Investigation of other methods such as shaft extension shows promising results for some operational points, but may significantly reduce the efficiency of the turbine at other operational points. The installation of an extension of the runner cone has been investigated at NTNU by Vekve in 2004. This has resulted in a cylindrical extension at Litjfossen Power Plant in Norway, where the bolt suffered mechanical failure. This indicates high amplitude pressure pulsations in the draft tube centre. The high pressure pulsation amplitudes are believed to be related to high tangential velocity in the draft tube. The mentioned runner cone extension has further been developed to a freely rotating extension. The objective is to reduce the tangential velocity in the draft tube and thereby the pressure pulsation amplitudes.