The presence of excessive swirl at the runner outlet in Francis turbines operating at part load leads to the development of flow instabilities such as the rotating vortex rope (RVR). The presence of RVR causes severe pressure pulsations, power swings, and fatigue damage in the turbine unit. Air and water injection in the draft tube have been reported to reduce the detrimental effects of RVR formation in the Francis turbines. Air injection is one of the oldest and most widely used methods. In contrast, water jet injection is a relatively new methodology. The present work reports the numerical simulations performed to compare the respective effectiveness of these methods to mitigate the RVR and the related flow instabilities. The efficacy of the two methods has been compared based on the pressure pulsations and pressure recovery in the draft tube cone. The results show that the air and water injection influence the draft tube flow field in different ways. Both air and water injection led to a reduction in pressure pulsation magnitudes in the draft tube cone. However, the air injection led to a negative pressure recovery while the water injection improved the draft tube action.

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