Gondo Throttled Surge Tank Numerical Modeling and Design Review

In order to increase the installed capacity, the refurbishment of Gondo high-head power plant required a modification of the existing surge tank by installing a throttle at its entrance. In a previous study, the geometry of this throttle was optimized by physical modeling to achieve the target loss coefficients as identified by a transient 1D numerical analysis. This study complements previous analyses through 3D numerical modeling using the commercial software ANSYS-CFX 19 R1. Results show that: (i) a 3D CFD model predicts sufficiently accurate local head loss coefficients that agree closely with the findings of the physical model; (ii) in contrast to a standard surge tank, the presence of a connecting gallery proved to be of insignificant effect on a surge tank equipped with a throttle, as the variations in the section of the tank cause negligible local losses compared to the ones induced by the throttle; (iii) CFD investigations of transient flow regimes revealed that the head loss coefficient of the throttle only varies for flow ratios below 20% of the total flow in the system, without significantly affecting the conclusions of the 1D transient analysis concerning minimum and maximum water level in the surge tank as well as pressure peaks below the surge tank. This study highlights the importance of examining the characteristics of a hydraulic system from a holistic approach involving hybrid modeling (1D, 3D numerical and physical) backed by calibration as well as validation with in-situ measurements. This results in a more comprehensive design of throttled surge tanks that makes full use of the advantages associated with each modeling strategy.

De Cesare, Giovanni
Sep 16 2020

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 Record created 2020-09-16, last modified 2020-10-29

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