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  • HYDRO 2017 Turgo Paper rev1

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Experimental investigation and analysis of three spear valve designs on the performance of Turgo impulse turbines

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date11/10/2017
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventHYRDO 2017: Shaping the Future of Hydropower - Seville, Spain
Duration: 9/10/201711/10/2017


ConferenceHYRDO 2017


Several numerical investigations into the impact of the spear and nozzle configuration of impulse turbine injectors can be found in the literature, however there is little or no experimental data available for the effect on Turgo impulse turbine performance. A recent 2D numerical Design of Experiments (DoE) study found that much steeper nozzle and spear angles than the industry standard produced higher efficiencies. This work was extended to compare the performance of an industry standard injector (with nozzle and spear angles of 80° and 55°) and an improved injector with much steeper angles of 110° and 70° using a full 3D simulation of the injector, guide vanes and first branch pipe. The impact of the jets produced by these injectors on the performance of a Turgo runner was also simulated. The results for both CFD tools used suggest that steeper injector nozzle and spear angles reduce the injector losses, showing an increase in efficiency of 0.76% for the Turgo 3D injector. In order to investigate the numerical results from the previous studies further, three Turgo impulse turbine injectors were manufactured by Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd for testing on the 9” Gilkes HCTI Turgo rig at the Laboratory of Hydraulic Machines, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). The injector designs tested were the standard (80/55) design, with nozzle and spear tip angles of 80° and 55° and the Novel 1 design (110/70) with nozzle and spear tip angles of 110° and 70° based on previously published CFD optimisation studies. The optimisations in the previous studies showed that the nozzle and spear angles in the upper limit of the investigated test plan, which was much higher than current industry guidelines, gave higher efficiencies. The DoE response surfaces in that study suggested that the optimum nozzle and spear angles may be even steeper and therefore an additional, third design (Novel 2) with even steeper angles (150/90) was also manufactured and tested. This paper presents the experimental data obtained for the three injector designs which were tested in a Turgo model turbine at various rotating speeds and flow rates. The 70 kW Turgo was coupled to a 75kW DC generator which allowed continuous speed regulation. The inlet conditions into the Turgo model turbine were controlled by a high head adjustable speed multistage pump of nominal operation point Q=290 m3/h, H=130 m (coupled via a hydraulic coupler to a 200 kW induction motor) which pumped water from the 320 m3 main reservoir of the Lab. The tests were carried out in single jet and twin jet operation. Testing and calibration of all the sensors was carried out according to testing standard IEC 60193 Hydraulic turbines, storage pumps and pump-turbines – Model acceptance tests (IEC 60193:1999). The results show that the Novel 2 injector performs best overall, which is consistent with the results obtained in previous 2D injector simulations. The achieved turbine efficiency with this injector is of the order of 0.5-1% higher than the Standard design, for both single and twin jet operation. The Novel 1 injector’s performance is between the Standard and Novel 2 injectors overall. Some images of the jets were also taken at various openings and are presented to qualitatively analyse the impact of each injector design on the disturbances on the outside of the jet. A further 2D axisymmetric CFD analysis is carried out to validate the measurements and to analyse the mechanisms which lead to injector losses. The results found that the majority of the losses occur in the region just upstream of the nozzle exit, where the static pressure is converted into dynamic pressure and the flow accelerates. In the Standard design, this conversion begins sooner and the flow travels over a longer distance at higher velocities leading to an increase in the losses. The CFD results found the differences between the designs to be smaller than the experiments however the trend of the results was similar, suggesting that the steeper angle injectors achieve higher efficiencies and better jet quality. The next stage of this research is to carry out a CFD analysis of the three injector designs in 3D, including the guide vanes and branch pipes, to investigate the impact of the steeper angles on the secondary velocities within the jet and the impact this has on the runner performance.