Conference paper

High-speed flow visualization in a pump-turbine under off-design operating conditions

The flow hydrodynamics in a low specific speed radial pump-turbine reduced scale model is experimentally investigated under off-design operating conditions in generating mode. Wall pressure measurements, in the stator, synchronized with high-speed flow visualizations in the vaneless space between the impeller and the guide vanes using air bubbles injection are performed. When starting from the best efficiency point and increasing the runner speed, a significant increase of the pressure fluctuations is observed mainly in channels between wicket gates. The spectral analysis shows a rise of one stall cell, rotating with about 70% of the impeller frequency, at runaway, which further increases as the zero discharge condition is approached. Then a specific image processing technique is detailed and applied to create a synthetic instantaneous view of the flow pattern on the entire guide vanes circumference for an operating point in turbine-brake mode, where backflow and vortices accompany the stall passage.

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