This paper describes a new design method of blade geometry for a Francis turbine runner by using a three-dimensional inverse design method and the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technique. The design objectives are the suppression of cavitation by reducing the area in which static pressure is lower than the vapor pressure while keeping the efficiency high. In the inverse design method, it is possible to optimize the static pressure distribution in the runner by controlling blade loading parameters and/or stacking condition, which is related to a blade lean angle, for the same design specification. A Francis turbine runner was re-designed by the inverse design method for different blade loading and stacking conditions, and the flow fields were evaluated by applying CFD. It was confirmed that the present design method is very practical and effective to control low pressure region and achieve high efficiency for Francis turbine runners.

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