On the basis of the state–space method (SSM), a novel linear mathematical model of the unsteady flow for the tailrace system with an open channel is proposed. This novel model is an elastic linearized model of water hammer. The validity of the model has been verified by several examples of numerical simulation, which are based on a finite difference technique. Then, the complete mathematical model for the hydro-turbine governing system of hydropower station with an open tailrace channel, which is used for simulating the transient process of the hydro-turbine governing system under load disturbance, is established by combining the models of hydro-turbine, generator, governor and open tailrace channel. Finally, according to the complete model, the regulation quality for hydro-turbine governing system with an open tailrace channel under load disturbance is studied, and the effects of open tailrace channel and tailrace surge tank on regulation quality are analyzed. The results indicate that: The open tailrace channel has a strong influence on the regulation quality by observing the water level fluctuations in tailrace surge tank. The surge shows a piecewise periodical change along with the variation in the length of an open channel. The open tailrace channel can be used to improve the regulation quality of hydro-turbine governing system.
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