Experiments in Fluids

, 54:1514 | Cite as

Draft tube discharge fluctuation during self-sustained pressure surge: fluorescent particle image velocimetry in two-phase flow

  • A. MüllerEmail author
  • M. Dreyer
  • N. Andreini
  • F. Avellan
Research Article


Hydraulic machines play an increasingly important role in providing a secondary energy reserve for the integration of renewable energy sources in the existing power grid. This requires a significant extension of their usual operating range, involving the presence of cavitating flow regimes in the draft tube. At overload conditions, the self-sustained oscillation of a large cavity at the runner outlet, called vortex rope, generates violent periodic pressure pulsations. In an effort to better understand the nature of this unstable behavior and its interaction with the surrounding hydraulic and mechanical system, the flow leaving the runner is investigated by means of particle image velocimetry. The measurements are performed in the draft tube cone of a reduced scale model of a Francis turbine. A cost-effective method for the in-house production of fluorescent seeding material is developed and described, based on off-the-shelf polyamide particles and Rhodamine B dye. Velocity profiles are obtained at three streamwise positions in the draft tube cone, and the corresponding discharge variation in presence of the vortex rope is calculated. The results suggest that 5–10 % of the discharge in the draft tube cone is passing inside the vortex rope.


Particle Image Velocimetry Particle Image Velocimetry Measurement Pressure Oscillation Draft Tube Particle Image Velocimetry Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the EOS Holding for their financial support and BC Hydro for making available the reduced scale model of the Francis turbine, in particular Danny Burggraeve and Jacob Iosfin for their help. Moreover, the authors would like to acknowledge the commitment of the Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines technical staff, especially Georges Crittin, Maxime Raton and Alain Renaud.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Müller
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Dreyer
    • 1
  • N. Andreini
    • 2
  • F. Avellan
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Hydraulic MachinesEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Environmental Hydraulics LaboratoryEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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