Comparison of chute aerator effect on stepped and smooth spillways
Bottom chute aerators are installed to prevent cavitation damages and they have been studied in detail on smooth spillways. In parallel, stepped spillways became widespread in the past decades. Research has shown that stepped spillways may be endangered even more by cavitation than smooth spillways, particularly for high unit discharges. As a consequence and besides issues of energy dissipation, the unit discharge of stepped spillways is usually limited to lower values than on smooth spillways. In order to overcome that limitation, flow aeration – mainly at the beginning of the chute – is necessary. Until now only fragmentary guidelines exists for the design of such aerators. Systematic tests with bottom chute aerators on stepped spillway are performed on a physical model. A deflector is used to separate the jet from the bottom in order to produce slight negative air pressures. A horizontal slot located in the vertical face of the first step allows for air supply underneath the flow. In addition of the global air entrainment by the aerator, the local air concentrations are spatially measured downstream of the deflector. The resulting air concentration distribution allows the investigation of air transport and detrainment as well as the streamwise average and bottom air concentration. The present paper discusses a test with a typical aerator and compares it with a reference test without aerator and a test on a smooth chute with a similar aerator.