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Energies 2016, 9(4), 237;

Cavitation Inception in Crossflow Hydro Turbines

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Pará –Av. Augusto Correa, N 1–Belém, PA 66075-900, Brazil
Current Address: Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Juan Ignacio Pérez-Díaz
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 24 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydropower)
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Cavitation is a common flow phenomena in most hydraulic turbines and has the potential to cause vibration, blade surface damage and performance loss. Despite the fact that crossflow turbines have been used in small-scale hydropower systems for a long time, cavitation has not been studied in these turbines. In this paper, we present the findings of a computational study on cavitation inception in crossflow turbines. Cavitation inception was assessed using three-dimensional (3D) Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) computations. A homogeneous, free-surface two-phase flow model was used. Pressure distributions on the blades were examined for different flow rates, heads and impeller speeds to assess cavitation inception. The results showed that cavitation occurs in the second stage of the turbine and was observed on the suction side near the inner edge of the blades. For the particular turbine studied, cavitation always occurred at shaft speeds greater than that, giving the maximum efficiency for each combination of flow rate and head. The implication is that the useful operating range of crossflow turbines is up to and including the maximum efficiency point. View Full-Text
Keywords: crossflow turbine; two-phase flow; water-vapor pressure; cavitation crossflow turbine; two-phase flow; water-vapor pressure; cavitation

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Adhikari, R.C.; Vaz, J.; Wood, D. Cavitation Inception in Crossflow Hydro Turbines. Energies 2016, 9, 237.

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