A series of numerical simulations for a Francis turbine were carried out to estimate the unsteady motion of the cavity in the draft tube of the turbine under a much larger flow rate condition than the swirl-free flow rate. The evaporation and condensation process was described by using a simplified Rayleigh–Plesset equation. A two-phase homogeneous model was adopted to calculate the mixture of gas and liquid phases. Instantaneous pressure monitored at a point on the draft tube formed long-period pulsations. Detailed analysis of the simulation results clarified the occurrence of a uniquely shaped cavity and the corresponding flow pattern in every period of the pressure pulsations. The existence of a uniquely shaped cavity was verified with an experimental approach. A simulation without rotor-stator interaction also obtained long-period pulsations after an extremely long computational time. This result shows that the rotor-stator interaction does not contribute to the excitation of long-period pulsations.

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