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The Use of 3D SPHERA Code to Support Spillway Design and Safety Evaluation of Flood Events

pubblicazioni - Articolo

The Use of 3D SPHERA Code to Support Spillway Design and Safety Evaluation of Flood Events

The paper describes the application of the fully 3D SPH model of the SPHERA code to different classes of problems occurring in the hydraulic power plant design and operation, among them the analysis of spillway behaviors and flood events. The activity described has proved that the SPH approach included in SPHERA can be successfully used to reproduce and to analyze most of the relevant physical and engineering aspects of phenomena involving hydraulic structures with a good accuracy and with significantly reduced costs with respect to physical models.

The study of real structures in hydraulics engineering is a topic of great interest in several research and applied fields. Today, with the advance in computer technology, the behavior of hydraulic structures can be investigated numerically in reasonable time and costs. This fact added to the increase of accuracy in the mathematical models, gives the possibility to the engineers to replace physical model tests and to solve problems related to dam and river hydraulics in a number of different scenarios. In the frame of the projects funded by the Italian Electric System Research fund, the 3D numerical code SPHERA, based on the SPH method, has been developed and tested in order to study different classes of problems connected to the hydro electrical power plant safety and efficiency, having in mind both the design support and the accident prevention point of views. The paper describes the application of the fully 3D SPH model of the SPHERA code to different classes of problems occurring in the hydraulic power plant design and operation, among them the analysis of spillway behaviors and flood events. Results such as level and pressure profiles are compared both with available experimental data and with CFD reference simulations resulting in a very good agreement and low computational costs. These satisfactory results are due to the recent improvements in the code development, as the new pre processing module for the automatic generation of complex geometries, the use of general semi-analytic approach for modeling solid boundaries and different criteria for the treatment of non cohesive granular sediments. The activity described has proved that the SPH approach included in SPHERA can be successfully used to reproduce and to analyze most of the relevant physical and engineering aspects of phenomena involving hydraulic structures with a good accuracy in comparison with traditional CFD approach and with significantly reduced costs with respect to physical models.

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