Gravity Power Pump-Turbine Technology

Gravity Power ModulesTM (GPMs) will utilize Francis-type pump-turbines capable of providing high efficiency at high head (pressure) in both the pump and turbine modes.  These same pump-turbines are also the core technology behind pumped storage hydropower (PSH) and are traditionally custom designed using a trial-and-error iterative process that requires several years for development. However, a steadily improving knowledge of hydrodynamics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), coupled with vastly improved computer capability, allows for a different approach: CFD-based computer-aided design.

Over the last two decades our Chief Scientist, Dr. Jingchun Wu, has developed a CFD-FEA-based design optimization system that integrates internally developed blade design tools, automatic mesh generators, and parameterized mathematical geometry models, with commercial 3D Navier–Stokes code. This powerful system provides a far more efficient means of optimization than the traditional trial-and-error approach and has been used to design the pump-turbine runner, tandem cascade, spiral casing, and partial draft tube to meet the specific requirements of a GPM.

 

Pump Turbine Elements

GPM Pump-Turbine Elements

Pump Turbine CFD-FEA Mesh


Pump-Turbine Optimization CFD Grid
(Click to Enlarge)

Pressure Distribution at Pump-Mode


Pressure Distribution at Pump-Mode

Pressure on Runner Plus Streamlines


Pressure on Runner Plus Streamlines
(click to enlarge)