CFD MODELLING AND EXPERIMENTS ON AERATOR FLOW IN CHUTE SPILLWAYS

Time: Mon 2019-10-21 09.30

Location: F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH Campus, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Civil and Architectural Engineering

Doctoral student: Penghua Teng , Byggvetenskap, Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering

Opponent: Professor Anton Schleiss, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Supervisor: Adj Professor James Yang, Betongbyggnad; Professor Anders Wörman, Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract

A chute spillway is a typical component of large dams for discharging floods. Because of the high water head, the flow velocity in the chute is often in excess of 20 m/s. Consequently, the structure is usually prone to cavitation damages. Flow aeration is evidenced to efficiently eliminate or to mitigate the damages. An aerator is a device that entrains air into the water flows and is an effective technical measure to counter the cavitation damages.

Aerator flow includes intense air-water exchange and involves a process of air entrainment, transport, and detrainment. Because of the complex phenomena, it is still a challenge to investigate the behaviors of interaction between air and water. It is fundamental to understand the flow behaviors downstream of the aerator. This thesis investigates the aerator flow features using both the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and advanced measurement techniques.

The CFD method presents three two-phase flow models to describe the aerator flows, namely, the Volume of Fluid Model, the Mixture Model, and the Two-Fluid Model. They are applied and evaluated via practical engineering projects and experimental data. The Volume of Fluid model leads to reasonable results regarding the water flow discharge and flow fields. For predicting the air concentration distribution and air bubble transport processes, the Two-Fluid Model is superior to others because it includes forces acting on the air bubbles. However, the model still overestimates the air content near the chute bottom. Based on the aerator flow from a chute spillway in Sweden, three two-phase flow models are applied and compared.

Physical model tests are commonly conducted to investigate aerator flow features. Because of the scale effects, the results may lead to a discrepancy in the flow behaviors compared with the prototype. Thus, CFD modeling becomes an alternative tool when seeking the reason for the difference. Based on the aerator flow in a real spillway, CFD is applied to reproduce the flow; the discrepancy between the model tests and prototype observations is evidenced. The results show similar flow features with the prototype but differ from those of the model tests. An explanation for the discrepancy is discussed in terms of flow features, effect of surface tension in model tests, and the prerequisite for air entrainment of the free-surface flow.

Laboratory experiments are conducted to study the aerator flow in a chute. Four image-based measurement techniques-i.e., high-speed particle image velocimetry (HSPIV), shadowgraphic image method (SIM), bubble tracking method (BTM), and bubble image velocimetry (BIV)-are employed. The study focuses on issues of exploring characteristic positions of water-air interfaces, interpreting the evaluation process of air bubbles shed from the tip of the air cavity, identifying the probabilistic means for characteristic positions near the fluctuating free surface, and obtaining the flow field both water flow and air bubbles features of the aerator flow. The application of these techniques leads to a better understanding of two-phase flow characteristics of the chute aerator.

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Last changed: Sep 26, 2019