Recently, Korean Government is encouraging to propagate the small hydro-electric power in renewable energy development policy as the “Low CO2 Green Growth” policy. However, turbines in the Korea Water Resources Corporation (below K-water) operated at an average of 10% less than well-designed turbines due to the design weakness or the inferior manufacturing techniques for the small hydropower facilities. Thus, maintenance fees increased because the cavitations had excessively occurred on the main parts of turbines such as the runner, guide vane and Stator, the life cycles of turbines were reduced and the frequency breakdowns were increased. In order to improve the efficiency the CFD-based design system is applied to the Francis turbine replacement project with Korea Fluid Machinery Association (below KFMA) and K-water. Therefore, the inversed design technique and the fully turbulent 3-dimensional flow simulations are performed for both the existing and new turbines at design and off design conditions. As a result, the runner is optimized to the greatest extent with a possible minimum cost under the geometrical constraints of the existing machine. The performances of the new design are verified by extensive model tests and the guarantees have all been successfully met.

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