EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Velocity field and discharge measurements at the turbine inlet of Iron Gate 2 hydropower plant

Damjan Ivetic1, Dusan Prodanovic1, and Predrag Vojt2
Damjan Ivetic et al.
  • 1University of Belgrade, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Serbia
  • 2Water institute “Jaroslav Černi“

To define the performance characteristics of turbines in Hydropower Plants (HPP) accurate hydraulic, mechanical and electrical quantities are needed. The discharge is the most difficult quantity to measure and assess its uncertainty (Adamkowski, 2012). Traditionally, during field acceptance tests the discharge is measured using velocity-area method. Often, no direct flow measurements are possible and only index methods are used, with flow coefficients obtained during physical model testing. In the non-standard situations, with adverse flow conditions this may lead to unpredicted flow uncertainty.

             The system used at the Iron Gate 2 HPP for control flow measurement at the inlet of bulb turbine is presented in this paper. The HPP is situated on a Danube river, between Serbia and Romania and is operational from 1985. The HPP is equipped with 20 horizontal Kaplan low head bulb turbines. The physical model experiments (JČInstitute, 2006) have concluded that due to the upstream flow conditions, the incident water flow direction is not parallel to the turbines (depending on operating conditions and can be up to 40o) as was assumed during the turbine’s model tests, raising the question of used Winter-Kennedy’s method accuracy.

             To perform a control flow measurement, a modular velocity-area system was designed. The system can be installed at the intake of any turbine, upstream of the trash rack. It consists of the 14.5x3.1 m steel frame, shaped to minimize flow disturbances, which can be traversed vertically through the flow cross section (28 m). Due to the high incident angles and large vortices in the front of the trash rack, propeller current meters were not suitable. The novel spherical 3D electromagnetic velocity meter (EMVM) was developed (Svet Instrumenata), enabling fast and continuous measurements of all the velocity vector components, with low flow disturbance. The 15 EMVMs were mounted on the frame and connected into the measurement network. Redundant velocity measurement was done using 2 Nortek “Vector” ADVs (Nortek). The measurement network also comprises of 2 water level pressure transducers and 2 steel frame position transducers (UniMeasure). All measurements were synchronized with HPP’s SCADA, so turbine’s operational parameters were downloaded off-line and merged.

             During the 2020, measurement system was used on the two turbines. The velocity profile was measured using two strategies: incrementally, the steel frame was raised from the bottom (average depth of 26 m) in increments of ~1.0 m and kept for at least 10 min in fixed position, and continuous where the steel frame was traversed through the flow cross-section with a constant speed of 0.05 m/s. Uncertainty assessment procedure, specifically tailored for this application, yielded discharge measurement uncertainties between 1.02 % and 2.00 %  for incremental, and between 1.65 % to 2.79 % for continuous regime.


Adamkowski, A. (2012). Discharge measurement techniques in hydropower systems with emphasis on the pressure-time method. Hydropower-practice and application.

Jaroslav Černi Institute (2006). Scale model investigation of turbine runner inflow at an unfavorable angle at HPP „Đerdap II“, SDHI (in Serbian)


Svet Instrumenata:


How to cite: Ivetic, D., Prodanovic, D., and Vojt, P.: Velocity field and discharge measurements at the turbine inlet of Iron Gate 2 hydropower plant, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8380,, 2021.


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