One-dimensional stability analysis of a hydraulic system composed of a penstock, a runner and a draft tube was carried out to determine the cause of the full load draft tube surge. It is assumed that the cavity volume at the runner exit is a function of the pressure at the vortex core evaluated from the instantaneous local pressure at the runner exit and an additional pressure decrease due to the centrifugal force on the swirling flow. It was found that the diffuser effect of the draft tube has a destabilizing effect over all flow rates while the swirl effects stabilize/destabilize the system at larger/smaller flow rates than the swirl free flow rate. Explanations of the destabilizing mechanism are given for the diffuser and swirl flow effects.

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