Turbines or pumps in hydropower plants achieve peak efficiencies of far more than 90% depending on the specific speed and the type of machine. Based on model tests or numerical simulations, the efficiency of a prototype machine has to be guaranteed and measured with the best measurement technique available. The choice of the appropriate efficiency measurement method does not only depend on the expected measurement uncertainties and tolerances set in a contract, it is also a question of the effort required for such a measuring campaign and of technical challenges, e.g., limitations imposed by plant operating conditions as draining of the system or constant load operation. Concerning hydraulic turbomachines, modern measuring technology offers different methods for efficiency measurements at a turbine unit. Primarily through the development of real-time capable data acquisition systems, it is possible to perform high-precision measurements rather quickly, whereby minimal downtimes can be achieved.
In the first part, the specific measurement methods available in different standards are presented in an overview, and then in the second part, the achieved accuracies of a very complex thermodynamic measurement are compared with a low-cost clamp-on acoustic Doppler measurement using a concrete example.