Numerical modeling of deforming bubble transport related to cavitating hydraulic turbines

Daniel Lörstad

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Cavitation is a problem in many hydroelectric power plants since it can cause adverse effects on performance and damage to nearby solid surfaces. The concerns of this thesis are the numerical aspects of flow simulations in cavitating hydraulic turbines which contain several difficulties: turbulent and complex flows, steady and moving parts of the geometry, bubble transport and cavitation development. The focus is on the accuracy and reliability of several different aspects of these difficulties, namely the study of bubble transport without phase change.

Two main strategies are chosen. Firstly the investigation of the turbulent bubble-flow interaction in a turbine geometry and secondly the investigation of the bubble deformation and the bubble-flow interaction. Consequently, different methods in order to handling these types of three dimensional multi-phase flows are presented. Volume of Fluid (VOF) is used for immersed fluid-fluid flows and improved methods are presented and evaluated for the phase transport and the interface treatment. This includes the Direction Averaged Normal model (DAN) and the Direction Averaged Curvature model (DAC). The Volume of Solid (VOS) method is also presented and evaluated. VOS is built on VOF and is a second order accurate boundary treatment method in Cartesian grids for both stationary and moving geometries of complex shape.

All the methods are tested using different three dimensional cases which leads to a confirmation of the high accuracy. The high accuracy of the VOF model is verified by comparing it with the experimental data for both rising wobbling bubbles and the bubble formation for air injection in the bottom of a water channel. The real advantage of the VOS method is demonstrated for a turbulent flow past a rotating propeller placed in a square channel, where the turbulence and the bubble transport are simulated using Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Lagrangian Particle Tracking (LPT) respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2003 Sep 12
ISBN (Print)91-628-5755-X
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2003-09-12
Time: 10:15
Place: Room M:B, M-building, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Sommerfeld, Martin
Title: Prof
Affiliation: Germany


Article: 1. Lörstad D & Fuchs L. LES of turbulent flow in a draft tube of a water turbine, In Gebart R, Gustavsson H and Karlsson R (eds). Proc. of Turbine-99 - Workshop on a draft tube flow in Porjus, Sweden, 1999. Universitetstryckeriet Luleå.

Article: 2. Lörstad D & Fuchs L. A Volume of Fluid (VOF) method for handling solid objects using fixed Cartesian grids. In Sarler B and Brebbia C A (eds). Moving Boundaries VI - Computational Modelling of Free and Moving Boundary Problems, pages 143-152, UK, 2001. Wessex Institute of Technology, WIT Press.

Article: 3. Lörstad D, Fuchs L & Lindsjö H. Bubble transport in a turbulent rotating flow. Proceedings of the Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 21st IAHR Symposium, Lausanne, 2002.

Article: 4. Lörstad D, Francois M, Shyy W & Fuchs L. Volume of Fluid and Immersed Boundary investigations of a single rising droplet. AIAA paper 2003-1282. 41st Aerospace Science Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, Nevada, USA, 6-9 January 2003.

Article: 5. Lörstad D, Francois M, Shyy W & Fuchs L. Assessment of Volume of Fluid and Immersed Boundary methods for droplet calculations. Submitted to International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, March, 2003.

Article: 6. Lörstad D & Fuchs L. High order surface tension VOF model for 3D bubble flows of high density ratio. Submitted to Journal of Computational Physics, August, 2003.

Article: 7. Blomgren C-H, Andree G, Lörstad D & Fuchs L. Rising air bubbles in a square channel - experiments and numerical simulations. Submitted to International workshop on multiphase and complex flow simulation for industry. Carg`{e}se, Corsica, France, July, 2003.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics


  • Gases
  • fluid dynamics
  • plasmas
  • Gaser
  • fluiddynamik
  • plasma
  • Energy research
  • Energiforskning
  • Direction Averaged Curvature (DAC)
  • Direction Averaged Normal (DAN)
  • Volume of Solid (VOS)
  • Volume of Fluid (VOF)
  • Lagrangian Particle Tracking (LPT)
  • Large Eddy Simulation (LES)
  • bubble
  • multiphase
  • turbulent flows
  • CFD
  • hydro-turbine


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