Analysis of the Cavitating Draft Tube Vortex in a Francis Turbine Using Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in Two-Phase Flow
Partial flow rate operation of hydroturbines with constant pitch blades causes complex unstable cavitating flow in the diffuser cone. A particle image velocimetry (PIV) system allows investigating the flow velocity field in the case of a developing cavitation vortex, the so-called vortex rope, at the outlet of a Francis turbine runner. The synchronization of the PIV flow survey with the rope precession allows applying the ensemble averaging by phase technique to extract both the periodic velocity components and the rope shape. The influence of the turbine setting evel on the volume of the cavity rope and its centerline is investigated, providing a physical knowledge about the hydrodynamic complex phenomena involved in the development of the cavitation rope in Francis turbine operating regimes.