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Research Project "HYDROVIO"

Development of reversible pumps / hydroturbines with optimized hydrodynamic and environmental design for high energy efficiency and safe fish passage (HYDROVIO)

The research project “HYDROVIO” is being realized by the Laboratory of Hydrodynamic Turbomachines (LHT) of the NTUA and the manufacturing company DRAKOS - POLEMIS FLUIDUSTRIA SA, and concerns the study, optimal design and laboratory validation of reversible pumps-turbines of special hydrodynamic design to allow for safer fish passage to both directions, while maintaining a high degree of energy efficiency.



This research has been co-financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH–CREATE–INNOVATE  (project code:T1EDK-01334)

Πλαίσιο κειμένου:

Main research objectives:

1. Investigation of the international market and determination of the design and operation region (hydraulic head and discharge rate) of pumps and reversible machines ‘friendly’ to the fish fauna, which is of commercial interest.

2. Creation of an innovative methodology for the assessment and quantification through appropriate indicators of the degree of ‘fish friendliness’ of a hydraulic turbomachine (pump, hydroturbine or reversible machine).

3. Development and implementation of an integrated computational methodology for optimal, customized design of reversible hydrodynamic machines, with two competing objectives: Maximizing efficiency and minimizing impact on fish fauna.

4. Creation of an innovative system for reliable diagnosis of cavitation in hydrodynamic machines, with easy adaptation and portability.

5. Development and implementation of a telemetry system for the online monitoring of the operation of large installed pumps and reversible hydraulic turbomachines.

6. Publication and promotion in the international markets of the new products, and the capability of the Company for specialized research and development of innovation.

7. Strengthening through the cooperation with the LHT-NTUA of the research department of the Company in the area of ​​hydraulic turbomachines design with computational methods, and improvement of its infrastructure for testing and evaluation of new products.

8. Expansion and reinforcement of the research team of the EYM, and further enhance of its potential for development of new innovative tools and methods, at the forefront of the international scientific and technological research

Project Methodology:

The duration of the research project is three years and includes 7 Work Packages. Its implementation will be based on modern computer tools and software, on the advanced and well-equipped laboratory infrastructures of the participants, and also, on new innovative methodologies and techniques that will be developed in the framework of the project.

The first key component of the proposed research includes the simulation and numerical solution of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes fluid mechanics equations (RANS) in the complex geometries of reversible mixed or axial flow hydraulic turbomachines. To this aim, commercial computational fluid dynamics software will be used, in order to simulate at first the flow in the runner / impeller (blade-to-blade), and then in the entire geometry of the machines, including the inlet-outlet sections and the guide vanes, as well as the possible creation of cavitation.

The geometry of the runner/impeller and of the rest components of the machine will be introduced in a parametric way, with techniques that will be developed within the Project, so that a wide range of different geometries can be produced using a relatively small number of design variables. This parametric design will then allow for the investigation of the effect of the various design parameters on the operational behavior and performance of the reversible turbomachines, and then the numerical optimization of its design, using relevant software.

In the proposed project there are two design objectives: Maximization of the energy efficiency of the reversible turbomachine and minimization of the possibility of injury or mortality of the fish fauna that passes through it. These two goals may be competitive, and hence, the multiparametric optimization procedure is expected to produce a set of optimal solutions, the so-called Pareto front, on which a manufacturer will be able to select a specific machine design, depending on the conditions and requirements of each application.

At this point there is a need to quantify the degree of 'fish-friendliness' of a hydraulic turbomachine, so that it can be set as an optimization target (cost function). For this purpose, a new innovative methodology will be developed, according to which the motion of an object in the shape of a fish and with variable dimensions will be numerically simulated, as it passes through the machine. The hydrodynamic forces and pressures that are exerted on the object-fluid interface (normal and shear stresses) will being recorded during its trajectory, while at the same time they determine its motion in the flow field at all degrees of freedom, as well as its possible impingement on the inner solid surfaces of the machine.

Then, in order to certify the complete methodology of the optimal customized design of a pump / turbine, the Company will study, design and build on its premises two such models of reversible hydroturbines, suitably selected from the computationally obtained optimum design results. The models will then be installed in the test rigs of D-P and EYM laboratories, and their characteristic operating curves will be measured with modern equipment.

Especially for the mechanism of cavitation, an innovative detection method that is already being studied in EYM will be completed and applied, and will be combined with a telemetry technique, so that the whole device is portable and can be easily installed in a real pump or hydroturbine in operation. The simulation of the cavitation phenomenon using the software in the two models of reversible machines that will then be measured in the laboratory, constitutes ideal opportunity to assess and validate this new method of cavitation detection.

Project results:

The physical object of the research project is composed of 7 Work Packages, each of which includes several specific actions and deliverables. Their objectives, as well as their implementation schedule are described in detail the official Technical Annex of the Project.



Ι Kassanos, V. Sanoudos-Dramaliotis, J.S. Anagnostopoulos, Numerical modelling of fish passage and flow interaction in a hydroturbine,  Intl. Conference HYDRO 2019, Concept to Closure: Practical Steps, Porto, Portugal, October 14-16, 2019.

G. Mousmoulis, C. Yiakopoulos, I. Kassanos, I. Antoniadis and J. Anagnostopoulos,
Vibration and acoustic emission monitoring of a centrifugal pump under cavitating operating conditions, ΙOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Volume 405, IAHR International Workshop on Cavitation and Dynamic Problems in Hydraulic Machinery and Systems 9–11 October 2019, Stuttgart, Germany

Ch. Kottas Choulakis, I.Kassanos, V. Alexopoulos and I. Anagnostopoulos,   Numerical analysis of the behaviour of a Deriaz versus a Francis reversible turbine in terms of their energy efficiency and fish-friendly characteristics, Intl. Conference HYDRO 2020, Strategies for Future Progress, Online event, October 26-28, 2020.  


Project Poster

Conference Poster 


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