The variable demand of the energy market requires that hydraulic turbines operate at variable conditions, which includes regimes far from the best efficiency point. The vortex rope developed at partial discharges in the conical diffuser is responsible for large pressure pulsations, runner blades breakdowns and may lead to power swing phenomena. A novel method introduced by Resiga et al. (2006, “Jet Control of the Draft Tube in Francis Turbines at Partial Discharge,” Proceedings of the 23rd IAHR Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, Yokohama, Japan, Paper No. F192) injects an axial water jet from the runner crown downstream in the draft tube cone to mitigate the vortex rope and its consequences. A special test rig was developed at “Politehnica” University of Timisoara in order to investigate different flow control techniques. Consequently, a vortex rope similar to the one developed in a Francis turbine cone at 70% partial discharge is generated in the rig’s test section. In order to investigate the new jet control method an auxiliary hydraulic circuit was designed in order to supply the jet. The experimental investigations presented in this paper are concerned with pressure measurements at the wall of the conical diffuser. The pressure fluctuations’ Fourier spectra are analyzed in order to assess how the amplitude and dominating frequency are modified by the water injection. It is shown that the water jet injection significantly reduces both the amplitude and the frequency of pressure fluctuations, while improving the pressure recovery in the conical diffuser.

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