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CFD Simulation of Kaplan Turbine Rotating Union and the Development of a Real Time Diagnostic System

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Obtaining energy from low-emission sources is extremely important currently. The use of hydropower plants for electrical energy production proves to be advantageous. The most commonly used type of water turbines are Kaplan machines due to the highest efficiency they offer in a wide range of operation. There is a need to increase the reliability of operating machines due to the failure of the oil heads performing the task of supplying hydraulic oil to the interior of the rotating turbine shaft to control the Kaplan turbine rotor blades. An in-depth analysis of physical phenomena such as friction, mechanical vibrations, and heat transfer has been carried out. The assumptions for the construction of the FDHC early diagnostics system have been created. Methods of measuring the parameters have been defined, which have consequently assisted in creating an algorithm for the testing method of a working machine in real time. The 3D CFD simulation method has been applied and physical phenomena have also been implemented in order to enable the reconstruction of the actual processes taking place inside the working element. This has enabled the observation of changes in physical quantities in any cross-section and point of the component tested. These activities have made it possible to determine the critical measurement points of physical quantities in the model that can be applied to a real object. In order to confirm the correctness of the assumptions made for the construction of the FDHC system, the 3D CFD simulation has been compared with the results obtained during measurements carried out on a working hydro unit. The results of the measurements carried out with the thermal imaging camera have partly coincided with the results obtained in the computational model.
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3D CFD; Modeling; Kaplan Turbine; Rotating Union; Heat Transfer; Diagnostic System

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