Tr-Francis turbine start-up tests begin

The team from the Heki hydraulic machinery laboratory has just completed the development of a procedure allowing the start-ups of the Tr-Francis turbine model to be carried out in homology with the prototype of the Jean-Lesage power plant. This success is the result of a close collaboration between Niki Molana (doctoral student under the direction of Sébastien Houde and Yvan Maciel), Olivier Doiron (master’s student under the direction of Yves St-Amant and Sébastien Houde), and the laboratory research professionals, Anthony Munoz and Maxime Coulaud.

The procedure developed by this team makes it possible to control the head across the model (representing the difference in the upstream and downstream water levels of the Jean-Lesage power plant), the opening sequence of the guide vanes, as well as the inertia of the rotating parts. Homology is ensured by transposition laws and a pressurization technique for the closed-loop circuit developed as part of the doctoral work of Maxime Coulaud.

Tests like the one illustrated here demonstrate that the implemented procedure manages to maintain the head constant at ±1% during the start-ups while reproducing the movement of the prototype’s wicket-gate operating ring. The non-dimensional rotation speed curves obtained on our model (diameter of 40 cm) are within 5% of the values of the real turbine (diameter of 5 m).

The next step is the realization of time-resolved PIV measurements by Niki Molana and structural measurements by Benoit Dussault (see our previous news). This procedure opens the way to carrying out homologous tests with other transient regimes on closed-circuit test platforms.

This success was possible thanks to the active participation of our partners (ANDRITZ Hydro Canada, EDF, GE Renewable Energy, Hydro-Québec, Polytechnique Montréal, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Vattenfall, and Voith Hydro), funding from NSERC and InnovÉÉ, as well as contributions from Arthur Favrel, Carl-Maikel Högström, Jean-François Morissette, and Berhanu Mulu.

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