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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2016, Article ID 4851454, 15 pages
Research Article

Simulations of Steady Cavitating Flow in a Small Francis Turbine

1Laboratory of Energetic Mechanics and Engineering (LEMI), Faculty of Engineering, University of Boumerdes, 35000 Boumerdes, Algeria
2Laboratory of Energetics and Conversion Systems, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene, BP32 El-Alia, Bab-Ezzouar, 16111 Algiers, Algeria

Received 30 December 2015; Revised 20 March 2016; Accepted 10 April 2016

Academic Editor: Ryoichi Samuel Amano

Copyright © 2016 Ahmed Laouari and Adel Ghenaiet. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The turbulent flow through a small horizontal Francis turbine is solved by means of Ansys-CFX at different operating points, with the determination of the hydrodynamic performance and the best efficiency point. The flow structures at different regimes reveal a large flow eddy in the runner and a swirl in the draft tube. The use of the mixture model for the cavity/liquid two-phase flow allowed studying the influence of cavitation on the hydrodynamic performance and revealed cavitation pockets near the trailing edge of the runner and a cavitation vortex rope in the draft tube. By maintaining a constant dimensionless head and a distributor vane opening while gradually increasing the cavitation number, the output power and efficiency reached a critical point and then had begun to stabilize. The cavitation number corresponding to the safety margin of cavitation is also predicted for this hydraulic turbine.