During development of the updraft free-exit-flow hydropower turbine system, serious attention was paid to impact of the traditional turbine system to environment. The paper presents results of experimental research and three-dimensional turbulent flow simulation of the runner. The experiment demonstrated that, on one hand, the system can enhance exit flow aeration and downstream water quality; on the other hand, it gives good results in terms of its power production efficiency, about 85%. Based on the time-averaged Navier-Stokes equations and standard k-ε model, the SIMPLEC algorithm was applied for the numerical analysis. To guarantee credibility of the calculation, FLUENT5.5 code was used, which can provide distribution of pressure and velocity respectively. With comparison between the experimental data and calculating results, it can be concluded that flow simulation can be an effective tool for predicting performance and optimizing design of new turbine runner.

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