CFD model of an aerating hydrofoil

D. Scott, M. Sabourin, S. Beaulieu, B. Papillon, C. Ellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Improving water quality in the tailrace below hydroelectric dams has become a priority in many river systems. In warm climates, water drawn by the turbine from deep in a reservoir can be deficient in dissolved oxygen (DO), a critical element in maintaining a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Many different solutions have been proposed in order to increase the DO levels in turbine discharge, including: turbine aeration systems (adding air to the water through either the turbine hub, the periphery or through distributed aeration in the runner blades); bubble diffusers in the reservoir or in the tailrace; aerating weirs downstream of the dams; and surface water pumps in the reservoir near the dam. There is a significant potential to increase the effectiveness of these solutions by improving the way that oxygen is introduced into the water; better distributions of bubbles will result in better oxygen transfer. In the present study, a two-phase Computational Fluid Dynamics model has been formulated using a commercial code to study the distribution of air downstream of a simple aerating hydrofoil. The two-phase model uses the Eulerian-Eulerian approach. Appropriate relations are used to model the interphase forces, including the Grace drag force model, the Favre averaged drag force and the Sato enhanced eddy viscosity. The model is validated using experimental results obtained in the water tunnel at the University of Minnesota's Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory. Results are obtained for water velocities between 5 and 10 m/s, air flow rates between 0.5 and 1.5 sL/min and for angles of attack between 0° and -8°. The results of this study show that the CFD model provides a good qualitative comparison to the experimental results by well predicting the wake location at the different flow rates and angles of attack used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication27th IAHR Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, IAHR 2014 - Sustainable Hydropower
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
StatePublished - 2014
Event27th IAHR Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, IAHR 2014 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Sep 22 2014Sep 26 2014


Other27th IAHR Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, IAHR 2014


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