Butterfly valves are typically used as emergency closure devices in dam penstocks; these valves must be capable of closing if a penstock bursts. This paper summarizes a 3D CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) study that was conducted on the water flow across a sizable butterfly valve (1.6m in diameter) in a dam penstock with 57m of water head. The main aim is to determine the maximum torque required to close the valve. Thus semi steady flow conditions across the valve at various degrees of closure were investigated and the corresponding torque calculated. A maximum torque of about 87 700 N-m has been obtained, occurring at valve angle 40° (with valve totally closed at 0°, and fully open at 90°). Visual results were analyzed at each valve angle to understand the nature of the flow through the butterfly valve using various 2D contours and streamline images. The CFD software ANSYS Fluent has been used employing a Finite Volume Method. The RANS (Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes) approach with Realizable K-epsilon turbulence model was employed. A grid independence study with up to 10 million cells has also been carried out, resulting in the adoption of 7.5 million cells in all models. Comparison with other available data was also completed, adding to the reliability of the computational results. Distribution of pressure, flow velocity, and turbulence parameters are also presented.

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