For some special tailrace tunnels in the hydropower stations, including the changing top-altitude tailrace tunnel and the tailrace tunnel with downstream reused flat-ceiling diversion tunnel, during normal operation and hydraulic transients, the flow patterns inside are relatively complex mainly including the free-surface pressurized flow and partial free flow if the tail water level is lower than the top elevation of tunnel’s outlet. These complex flow patterns have obvious effect on system’s stability, and can not be simulated accurately by the traditional models. Therefore, a characteristic implicit model is introduced to simulate these complex flow patterns for further stability analysis. In some special cases, the characteristic implicit model also fails to completely simulate the mixed free-surface pressurized flow in the flat-ceiling tailrace tunnel. A new method is presented based on both experimental research and numerical simulation, and then, system’s stability is analyzed by compared with traditional ordinary boundary condition. The results indicate that, with different simulation models for the complex water flow in the tailrace tunnel, system’s dynamic characteristic can be actually revealed with the consideration of the effect of complex flow patterns in the tailrace tunnel on system’s stability and regulation performance.

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