For pump turbines, an S-shaped curve can lead to failures in synchronization. To improve the hydraulic design, the component that is responsible for the formation of the S-shaped curve was identified by a hydraulic loss analysis using previous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) results, which indicates that the formation of the S-shaped curve can be ascribed to the runner. To improve the hydraulic design of the runner, a simple numerical approach for direct problem analysis was proposed, based on the blade-loading distributions of runners with and without an S-shaped curve, and directly analyzed. It was implied from the differences in the blade-loading distributions that, when the meridional passage was broadened, the formation of the S-shaped curve was suppressed. To validate this, two runners with different meridional sections were designed by means of the inverse design method. Through model tests, it was verified that the S-shaped curve was eliminated completely and the performance curve of the modified hydraulic model satisfied the requirements for safe operation in a pumped storage plant.

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