Hydrodynamic Characteristics of the Baihetan Plunge Pool : The Secondary Dam’s Top Elevation Impact on Flow Patterns
Abstract: The hydrodynamic characteristics of the Baihetan Plunge pool and the impact of changing the secondarydam’s top elevation was investigated. Quantities such as the velocity distribution, turbulencedissipation rate, water surface profile and the probability of a submerged jump forming in the plungepool was studied.The numerical model showed in general good agreement with data gathered from an experimentalstudy conducted in 2012. The only exception was the maximum pressure in the plunge pool, whichwas 16.91 % higher for the simulation using a top elevation of 604 MASL for the secondary dam. Theuse of a grid convergence index (GCI) showed that the result was closer to being mesh independentin the plunge pool (GCIplunge = 4:5 %), but not in the jet body (GCIjet = 16:9 %).The results indicated that no significant improvement was given for changing the top elevationof the secondary dam to 604 or 606 MASL (original height is 602 MASL) since all cases displayflow pattern indicating that a submerged jump will occur. Moreover most of the turbulence wasconcentrated near the jet for all the cases, indicating that the plunge pool is properly designed forthe purpose it is intended to do, i.e. dissipating the energy of the jets in the plunge pool and notdownstream to the unprotected riverbanks.The main conclusion is that the original design is to prefer since no advantages is given byheightening the secondary dam, and will only increase the cost of construction.
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