Optimization of Francis Turbines for Variable Speed Operation Using Surrogate Modeling Approach
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Fluids Engineering - Trancactions of The ASME. 2020, 142 (10), . 10.1115/1.4047675
Previous studies suggested variable speed operation (VSO) of Francis turbines as a measure to improve the efficiency at off-design operating conditions. This is, however, strongly dependent on the hydraulic design and, for an existing turbine, improvements can be expected only with a proper redesign of the hydraulic surfaces. Therefore, an optimization algorithm is proposed and applied to the runner of a low specific speed Francis turbine, with an optimization strategy specifically constructed to improve the variable speed performance. In the constrained design space of the reference turbine, the geometry of the replacement runner is parametrically defined using 15 parameters. Box–Behnken method was used to populate the design space with 421 unique samples, needed to train fully quadratic response surface models of three characteristic efficiencies defined by the proposed objective function. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to calculate the responses for each sample. The parametric study showed that the anticipated variation of the shape of the hill chart, needed to improve the variable speed performance of the turbine, is limited within a narrow range. The presented method is general and can be applied to any specific speed in the Francis turbine range, for both synchronous speed and variable speed optimization tasks.