A coupled CFD and DEM study to evaluate a trash-boom debris retentency


Debris in rivers represents a massive problem for dams, especially hydroelectric plants. Debris can cause an obstruction of the intake grid and the penstock structures increasing the plant maintenance frequency due to the possibility of machinery damage. In the Alto Tietê system, some hydraulic power plants have to work with a great reduction in the generation capacity due to pollution in Tietê river. In this work, was developed a numerical model to calculate the hydrodynamic forces and momentum of a trash-boom system from a project developed by IPT and simulate the interactions between debris, fluid medium, and the trash boom, using a coupled CFDDEM model, to accurately estimate debris trajectory. The calculated trajectory allows the analysis of the system efficiency by retaining and directing debris in different flow conditions. By coupling the software Ansys Fluent, used for CFD, and ESSS Rocky, used for DEM, in a one-way simulation, it was possible to model a passive collector’s operation under control flow conditions and evaluate the effect of debris density and size, flow velocity, trash boom geometry and depth on debris behavior and trash boom efficiency. It was found that in most combinations of these variables, in normal flow conditions, the designed system has high efficiency. This model can be used to investigate better designs for the trash booms, identifying the relationship between the drag and retainment capacity.

MATA, Felipe Araujo da; DANTAS, João Lucas Dozzi; QUEIROZ, Patrick Donigá; CASTRO, Felipe Sanots de; MATOS, Gabriel Galvão. A coupled CFD and DEM study to evaluate a trash-boom debris retentency. In: THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCITION FOR HYDRO-ENVIRONMENT ENGINEERING AND RESEARCH (IAHR) WORD CONGRES, 39., 2022, Granada, Spain. Proceedings… 10 p.

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