Since Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) became effectively usable for small engineering firms, SEi has worked intensively on its applications. We found CFD to be a powerful tool for hydraulic diagnostics on a variety of reaction turbines. After the first applications, we focused on engaging CFD in the process of optimizing new runner design.
Since then, our mission has been centered on upgrades of pre-CFD designed turbines, in which we have been able to increase output and hydraulic efficiency, provide cavitation-free operation, and improve stability. These major turbine operating parameters can be controlled and diagnosed through modern numerical flow simulations. The development of our own methodologies, which incorporate evolutionary algorithms and elements of artificial intelligence, has been a key element in this undertaking.
Our mission extends naturally to developing new concepts and methods. These include novel means of mitigating the influence of negative phenomena, such as draft tube roping that occurs mostly in Francis runners, or of controlling hydraulic loading of wicket gates and runner blades of double-regulated turbines (Deriaz, Kaplan).
Our record of success is a testament to the fact that the most effective and economically viable investment in the hydropower industry is the improvement of turbine performance through the replacement of runners. SEi can supply custom designed and optimized runners for upgrades and refurbishment projects of Francis, Kaplan, Propeller, Deriaz and Mixed-flow type units.