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Hydraulic development of high speed pump-turbines by the inverse design method

flow-phenomena-in-pump-operationIn recent years an increased interest in pump-turbines has been recognized in the market. The rapid availability of pumped storage schemes and the benefits to the power system by peak lopping, providing reserve and rapid response for frequency control are becoming of growing advantage.

The market requires the need to develop pump-turbines that reliably stand dynamic operation modes, fast changes of the discharge rate by adjusting the variable diffuser vanes as well as fast changes from the pump to turbine operation.


 In this publication, we study the various flow patterns linked to the operation of a pump-turbine system. The pump and turbine mode are discussed separately and different load cases at both operation modes are shown.

In order to achieve competitive pump-turbine designs, we explain which design challenges should be considered during the geometry definition of a pump-turbine impeller. A runner-blade profile for a low head pump turbine has been developed. For the initial hydraulic runner-blade design, an inverse design method has been applied.

Within this design procedure, blade geometry is generated by imposing the pressure loading-distribution and by an inverse 3D potential-flow solution. The hydraulic behaviour of both, pump-mode and turbine-mode is then evaluated by solving the full 3D Navier-Stokes equations in combination with a robust turbulence model.

Based on this initial design the blade profile, the design is optimized and redesigned considering various hydraulic pump-turbine requirements.

Finally, the progress in hydraulic design is demonstrated by model test results which show a significant improvement in hydraulic performance compared to an existing reference design.

Read related blog: Come and see us present our paper at the IAHR 2018 Kyoto on on 'Optimisation of a pump-as-turbine runner using a 3D inverse design methodology'.

 Download hydraulic development of high speed pump-turbines publication 




About Advanced Design Technology

We provide software and services for the design and optimization of turbomachinery, based on our unique 3D Inverse Design technology. Our tools and services help customers achieve innovative “breakthrough” designs, delivering market leading solutions at dramatically reduced development costs.

ADT, headquartered in London, UK, was established in 1999 as a joint venture between University College London and The Ebara Research Co Limited of Japan. We are considered as one of the leading global turbomachinery design software providers, with our TURBOdesign Suite tool set in use across a very wide range of applications and sectors. 

Our design consultancy services deliver cutting-edge solutions to our global customers. Whether the task involves a complete solution, from concept to final design for manufacturing, or is facing challenging multi-point / multi-objective design optimization, we work closely with our customers and support them throughout the entire design process.

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