Study on the Accuracy of RANS Modelling of the Turbulent Flow Developed in a Kaplan Turbine Operated at BEP. Part 2 - Pressure Fluctuations


1 University Politehnica of Bucharest, 060042, Romania

2 Luleå University of Technology, 971 87, Sweden


The aim of the paper is to investigate the limitations of unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations of the flow in an axial turbine. The study is focused on modelling the pressure pulsations monitored on the runner blades. The scanned blade geometry renders the meshing process more difficult. As the pressure monitor points are defined on the blade surface the simulation relies on the wall functions to capture the flow and the pressure oscillations. In addition to the classical turbulence models, a curvature correction model is evaluated aiming to better capture the rotating flow near curved, concave wall boundaries. Given the limitations of Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes models to predict pressure fluctuations, the Scale Adaptive Simulation-Shear Stress Transport (SAS-SST) turbulence model is employed as well. The considered test case is the Porjus U9, a Kaplan turbine model, for which pressure measurements are available in the rotating and stationary frames of reference. The simulations are validated against time-dependent experimental data. Despite the frequencies of the pressure fluctuations recorded on the runner blades being accurately captured, the amplitudes are considerably underestimated. All turbulence models estimate the correct mean wall pressure recovery coefficient in the upper part of the draft tube.