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Abstract

During the design and optimization of hydraulic turbomachines, the experimental evaluation of hydraulic performances beyond the best efficiency point and for off-design conditions remains essential to validate the simulation process and to finalize the development. In this context, an alternative faster method to measure the efficiency of hydraulic turbomachines using a dynamic approach has been investigated. The so-called “sliding-gate” dynamic measurement method has been adapted and implemented on the hydraulic test rig of the HES-SO Valais//Wallis, Sion, Switzerland. This alternative approach, particularly gainful for small-hydro for which the investment devoted to development is limited, has been successfully assessed on two cases for drinking water networks energy recovery. A 2.65 kW double-regulated laboratory prototype of a tubular axial micro-turbine with two independent variable speed counter-rotating runners and a 11 kW multi-stage centrifugal pump-as-turbine (PAT) with variable speed have been selected. The hydraulic efficiency results obtained by dynamic measurements are compared to the ones obtained by the classical steady point-by-point method. This dynamic method, suitable not only for hydraulic machinery, allows: (i) reducing significantly (up to 10×) the time necessary to draw the complete efficiency characteristics of a hydraulic machine; (ii) rapidly detecting the hydrodynamic instabilities within the operating range of the machine.

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