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Final Report Summary - ACCUSIM (Accurate Simulations in Hydro-Machinery and Marine Propellers)

The ACCUSIM project aims to identify, develop and apply accurate, high-fidelity CFD approaches for the numerical predictions of the unsteady, turbulent and possibly cavitating flow in hydraulic turbines, pumps and marine propellers, and to develop advanced shape and functional optimization strategies for the best design of these systems.
This report contains the description of the activities in the ACCUSIM project during the four years of the project. The ACCUSIM project started on 01/02/2014 and finished on 31/01/2018. The results achieved are great in both scientific and technical sense. From the scientific point of view they have turned out, in several cases, to be among the best, when compared with other researchers at blind and open test cases. From the technical standpoint, the experience gained by TI Researchers will be key in advancing their research and design capabilities for hydraulic turbomachines.

- ACCURATE SIMULATIONS: achieve the capabilities to perform accurate simulations of hydraulic machines and propellers, using advanced, scale-resolving simulation approaches of turbulent flows and taking into account the possible presence of cavitation phenomena
- CAVITATION: gain the capabilities to model different types of cavitation (steady-state partial sheet cavitation and unsteady sheet cloud cavitation), by verifying the general validity of the developed/calibrated cavitation models, or improve available models
- OPTIMIZATION: verify the usefulness of advanced optimization strategies coupled to high-fidelity CFD modelling augmented by reduced order models, develop a template for an optimization procedure
- OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE: acquire competences and experience in using open-source CFD packages (e.g. OpenFOAM) on HPC platforms
- COMPETITIVENESS: improve competitiveness using high-fidelity accurate simulation tools and optimization strategies, developed and validated during the ACCUSIM project

During the project various types of activities were performed, namely research, transfer of knowledge, dissemination and outreach activities. Detailed information about the project dissemination and outreach activities can be found in the public deliverables that are accessible from the project webpage ( The list of publications and links to papers is available at

The results fulfilled the objectives. The results obtained during the ACCUSIM project were disseminated at national and international conferences, user's meetings, in research and technical journal publications, at a summer school, etc., mainly using open-access archival publications.
In particular, the main efforts have been devoted to the following objectives:
- Modelling of cavitation:
(1.) Calibrated mass transfer models for sheet cavitation were successfully verified in case of sheet cavitation in Francis turbine, Kaplan (axial) turbine and marine propellers
(2.) Calibrated mass transfer models for sheet cavitation and default models were assessed for cloud cavitation on hydrofoil and in a centrifugal pump;
(3.) Calibrated mass transfer models for sheet cavitation and default models were assessed for prediction of cavitating vortex rope in Francis turbine;
- Usage of optimization algorithms in shape optimization of (1.) a centrifugal pump and (2.) a runner cone extension of Francis turbine. The optimization were done using the modeFRONTIER software optimization platform (
- Exploitation of HPC (High Performance Computing) Platforms. Due to the high computational costs of advanced SRS (Scale Resolving Simulation) for turbulent flows, the use of HPC is mandatory. This has been further employed by using the TI (Turboinstitut, Ljubljana, Slovenia) HPC platform, as well as the large-scale HPC systems available at CINECA (, Casalecchio di Reno, Bologna, Italy.
- Open Source CFD tools. The Open Source toolkit OpenFOAM (, has been used, by both partners, in the simulation of hydraulic turbines and marine propellers, in steady and time-dependent regimes, as well as under cavitating conditions.
- SRS (Scale Resolving Simulations) for turbulent flows. Such advanced turbulence modelling approach has been successfully applied to Francis and axial hydraulic turbines, as well as pumps.

One of the main objectives of the project was to perform accurate simulations, and to therefore be able to accurately predict phenomena in rotating machinery. The researchers took part at one blind and one open test case; the results have turned out, in several cases, to be among the best (more detailed information at: ).

The research activities followed the original plan very well. The main difference between planned and actual activities had been a slight change of order of some research. At the end of year 3, all planned research activities were fulfilled. In year 4 especially the dissemination and outreach activities took place.

- For the scientists involved: (1.) new and improved knowledge and skills, enlarged social and research network; (2.) also as a result of his participation in the ACCUSIM project, Mitja Morgut won the tenure track for a position of Research Ass. Type B in UNITS, in the Naval Architecture group; (3.) after the finished secondment, Aljaž Škerlavaj was offered a Turbine department lead position at KTI
- For the Turboinstitut company: new technologies, transfer of knowledge from scientists involved to other employees, improved products and methodologies;
- For University of Trieste: scientific references, networking with other institutions/researchers, expertise in applied CFD, experience with R&D in enterprises;
- For scientific community: results of testing and/or improvement of various models, new insights into development and design optimization of centrifugal pumps;
- For general public: dissemination of general knowledge about CFD, hydraulic machinery, propellers, cavitation and optimization.
Besides, the ACCUSIM project is important for establishing new - or fostering the old - links between Italy and Slovenia in the so-called Alpe-Adria region.

ACCUSIM Partners:
1. KOLEKTOR Turboinštitut, Slovenia
2. University of Trieste, Italy

ACCUSIM project coordinator:
Dr. Aljaž Škerlavaj
KOLEKTOR Turboinštitut, Rovšnikova 7, 1210 Ljubljana, Slovenia

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