Now in its seventh year, TURBNPRO - a hydraulic turbine technical data programme - has evolved to its current version 3.04 and now includes application information on Francis, Axial/propeller and Pelton turbine design

The TURBNPRO programme was created to assist engineers and project developers in selecting and optimising hydro turbine size, quantity, type and arrangement during the feasibility study and preliminary design phases of hydroelectric power projects. In addition, the programme is used by educators as both a reference and presentation tool to aid in developing a quicker understanding of the hydraulic turbine types and arrangements available, their performance characteristics and application to various site conditions.

Due to the custom engineered nature of hydroelectric turbine equipment, the selection of an appropriate hydraulic turbine size, type, and quantity is frequently a time consuming exercise for project developers and designers during a project’s early design stages. TURBNPRO was specifically designed to address this effort. The programme determines unit sizes and speeds that satisfy the actual site data and performance criteria entered by the user, allows the user to select the turbine arrangement and orientation, indicates the advantages/disadvantages of the various arrangement types, shows typical turbine dimensional and performance data on the selection, displays performance data in several formats (including hill curve and cross plot), and displays graphical views of the turbine selection. In addition, the programme features a routine to determine the annual energy production of the solution(s) developed using the site’s headwater/tailwater elevations and flow duration curve data entered by the user.

By using TURBNPRO to compare the dimensional impact on power house design and the energy production of various turbine solutions, the user can, within minutes, closely select the optimum turbine type, number and arrangement for a project. Data included in TURBNPRO is typical and generic in nature and is based upon experience with actual turbine designs.

The programme includes the following features:

• It determines unit sizes and speeds that satisfy the site data and performance criteria entered by the user.

• Allows the user to select the turbine arrangement and orientation (as limited by unit size, output and other criteria).

• Gives the advantages/disadvantages of the various arrangement options.

• Shows typical turbine dimensional and performance data on the solution selection.

• Displays performance data in several formats.

• Displays graphical views of the turbine solution.

• Calculates the annual energy generation of the turbine solution based on the site’s flow duration and headwater/tailwater data.

The sequence of entering data and performance criteria for developing the turbine size and solution is designed to be easy to follow and includes: unit discharge; rated net head, gross head and desired net head operating range; desired unit setting relative to tailwater elevation; system frequency (50Hz or 60Hz); efficiency priority at rated conditions; site elevation and water temperature.

Turbine arrangement and orientation may be user-selected or determined by the programme’s default feature. Limitations on equipment arrangement due to size, output and specific speed are automatically considered by the programme.

All major arrangements are covered by the programme including:

• Propeller turbines – Kaplan, adjustable blade or adjustable gate regulation capability, conventional vertical configuration with spiral case, semi-spiral case or flume intakes, and Tubular, pit type or bulb type arrangements.

• Francis turbines – vertical and horizontal axis, spiral case, semi-spiral case and flume intakes, straight and elbow draft tubes.

• Pelton turbines – horizontal orientation with one or two jets, vertical orientation with up to six jets.

Performance results

Performance data on the turbine solution is calculated by the programme and is displayed in ‘hill curve’, crossplot curve and tabular formats. The main turbine dimensional characteristics are shown in easy to view screens with graphically displayed definitions of dimensions. Cavitation characteristics and limitations due to cavitation are integral to the development of the turbine solution and its performance. Printed reports of the turbine performance, dimensional characteristics and curves can be generated and show results in both standard US customary and metric units.

Optimum energy production can be determined using actual or hypothetical site flow and head data. Concurrent operation of up to ten units of two different turbine solutions may be considered in energy production calculations. Turbine performance characteristics and annual energy results can be exported to a MS Excel spreadsheet file for use in other programming and for comparative analysis.

The programme includes a graphical ‘slide show’ presentation showing the various hydro turbine arrangement types available including their applications, limitations, advantages and disadvantages.

Version improvements

As part of a recent modification of the software, all data entry is now in SI units. All screen displayed data results are also in SI units while printed reports continue to show results in both SI and US customary units. The software now allows users to enter efficiency modifiers to further customise the turbine solution performance. Two styles of modifiers are available. The first is a simple multiplier that reduces or increases the turbine efficiency by a factor entered by the user. The second is a modifier which reduces or increases the turbine efficiency as a function of the square of the discharge. The dimension values developed by the programme are also now displayed directly onto the graphic screens which are generic outlines of data including the turbine cross-section, water passage and arrangement

TURBNPRO is provided with a user manual/reference guide of approximately 160 pages, which includes extensive graphics. In addition, to assist engineers in their project concept drawings, TURBNPRO includes 40 CAD drawings of turbine water passage, cross-section and arrangement views. Drawings are in standard DXF format allowing them to be copied and imported into most CAD drafting programmes. TURBNPRO is designed to operate on an IBM compatible PC (Pentium Processor or higher) and Windows Version 95/98 or later.

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