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3D Hydrodynamics of Trapezoidal Piano Key Spillways


This paper compares the hydraulics and 3D flow features of the ordinary rectangular and trapezoidal plan view piano key weirs (PKWs) using two phase RANS numerical simulations. The main aim is to investigate effects of the inlet key area and angle of the side walls on discharge capacity of the PKW, while keeping the developing length of the crest intact. The numerical model has been used to carry out a sensitivity analysis for geometrical parameters and hydrodynamics of the rectangular and trapezoidal weirs (TPKWs) have been compared for wide range of the water head on the weir. Results show that the trapezoidal weir has higher efficiency than the ordinary rectangular PKW. This is partly related to the inlet key flow conditions. The trapezoidal geometry increases the inlet flow area resulting in reduction of the velocity along the key axis. Consequently, flow is distributed more uniformly over the side crests. The gradual transition of the inlet key limits the development of the recirculation zones along the side walls, and it also limits the formation of the critical section along the inlet key. These phenomena result in increase of the effective weir length and thus discharge capacity increases in trapezoidal weir compared with rectangular one. Discretization of the discharge along the crest of the tested weirs clearly confirms these findings.

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Correspondence to Akbar Safarzadeh.

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Safarzadeh, A., Noroozi, B. 3D Hydrodynamics of Trapezoidal Piano Key Spillways. Int J Civ Eng 15, 89–101 (2017).

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  • Piano key weir
  • Trapezoidal
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Streamline
  • Unit discharge