Stay Vane Trailing Edge Modification for Improved Hydroturbine Efficiency

Open Access
Vater, Gregory T
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Michael Cimbala, Thesis Supervisor
  • Domenic Adam Santavicca, Honors Advisor
  • CFD
  • Francis Turbine
  • Wicket Gate
  • OpenFoam
This project utilizes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to analyze the effect of modifying the stay vanes within a Francis turbine at various efficiency conditions. Specifically, two channels with identical diameter and angle of inclination were inserted into the trailing edge of the stay vane. The volumetric flow rate of the fluid through each channel was varied, with the assumption that there would be an ideal volumetric flow rate for each case. Such cases would be identified by the measurement of two parameters: change in swirl angle of the flow and decrease in pressure along two arcs through the turbine passage. This analysis supports previously conducted research confirming improvement in flow conditions with the addition of fluid flow through a channel. By expanding to conditions other than the best efficiency point, the simulations confirm the effectiveness of this technology across a wide spectrum of operating conditions.