Multi-Fidelity Design Optimization of Hydro Turbine Runner Blades

From an energy production perspective, the mobile component of the turbine, the runner, plays a key role in the operation of a water turbine. In the present competitive situation of deregulated energy markets, there is a great demand for more efficient runners which can withstand severe operating conditions. Traditional trial-and-error runner design methods largely depend on the designers’ experience, and always need long design cycles. In this project, a new design optimization methodology has been developed, which uses a combination of highly accurate evaluations and inexpensive moderately accurate evaluations in a proper design cycle, to integrate their advantages and alleviate their weaknesses, with respect to important industrial design limitations such as time and cost. This robust methodology is able to consider several different design objectives and constraints to obtain high-performance runners. Since the majority of Canada’s power stations work with water turbines, even by a few percentage points improvement of runner efficiency and durability, extra millions of dollars can be gained each year.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. François Guibault


Salman Bahrami


Andritz Hydro


Engineering - computer / electrical




Polytechnique Montréal



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