Water Turbines

Water turbines are used to generate electric power. The sector has two prongs: improving existing machines (sometimes referred to as rehabilitating) and developing new machines for new applications.

The world’s many old, large hydraulic installations can benefit from more-modern runners, improved distributor components and sculpted draft tubes. Simulation tools from ANSYS have contributed to performance advances by providing key insight into the structural, dynamic and fluid dynamic aspects of these machines. The high-fidelity simulation delivered by ANSYS is critical in these applications, since even small performance improvements can yield large amounts of power — particularly the large Francis-style machines in which runner diameter averages 10 meters.

Flow simulation in Pelton runner

Courtesy  VA TECH HYDRO Ltd.

While water turbine usage is centuries old, novel applications are emerging as the quest for alternate energy sources continues. Unsteady tidal-driven power and run-of-the-river applications can require high performance over a wide operating range, and the off-design conditions present very complex physics. For example, reducing or eliminating the unsteady vortex rope observed in the draft tube at part-load conditions is a challenging task for development engineers. They turn to ANSYS for simulation tools  that offer unsurpassed breadth of high-fidelity physics, enabling them to tackle any problem with confidence.