Due to increasing usage of Feed-in Tariff (FIT), which is a subsidy system to encourage expansion of renewable energy and to reduce costs associated with introduction of renewable energy, demand for hydraulic turbine designers has increased solely for the purpose of improving turbine performance. With these requirements, CFD simulation is a powerful tool for designers to improve the internal flow and pressure distribution in turbines. Traditionally, most designers use a trial-and-error process based on previous experience to design new turbines. Usually, achieving the goal is a lengthy and painstaking process. This paper proposes a novel method which combines both CFD and optimization methods to automatically optimize a Francis turbine. This procedure includes four components: a design program, a CFD solver, a scheduler, and an optimization algorithm. This paper describes an attempt to automatically optimize a Francis turbine runner by using ANSYS Vista TF as the 2D CFD solver based on through-flow theory, and ANSYS CFX 19.1 as the 3D CFD solver based on Finite Volume Method (FVM). The runner geometry is parameterized by Bezier curves in the design program. CFD analysis is performed to assess the efficiency of the runner, and also the output power is calculated by runner torque. These two parameters are used as the objective function of the optimization algorithm. This method is used to optimize the runner geometry, which consists of two parts: the meridional plane and profile camber lines. We confirmed that the new turbine, which was optimized by the above-mentioned method, has better efficiency than the existing one.
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