Computational fluid dynamics simulations are conducted to characterize the spatial and temporal characteristics of the flow field inside a Francis turbine operating in the excess load regime. A high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulation (LES) turbulence model is applied to investigate the flow-induced pressure fluctuations in the draft tube of a Francis Turbine. Probes placed alongside the wall and in the center of the draft tube measure the pressure signal in the draft tube, the pressure over the turbine blades, and the power generated to compare against previous studies featuring design point and partial load operating conditions. The excess load is seen during Francis turbines in order to satisfy a spike in the electrical demand. By characterizing the flow field during these conditions, we can find potential problems with running the turbine at excess load and inspire future studies regarding mitigation methods. Our studies found a robust low-pressure region on the edges of turbine blades, which could cause cavitation in the runner region, which would extend through the draft tube, and high magnitude of pressure fluctuations were observed in the center of the draft tube.

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