Hydraulic test rig

A new universal test rig has been installed in the HES-SO Valais-Wallis hydraulic laboratory to assess the hydraulic performances of different types of small-power axial and radial-axial turbines and/or pumps, valves, as well as other components of hydraulic systems, following the IEC 60193 standard recommendations. Built on two floors of the hydraulic laboratory, the closed-loop circuit is supplied by three recirculating multistage centrifugal pumps, with variable speed, connected in parallel. The three pumps can deliver a maximum discharge of 100 m3/h and a maximum pressure of 160 mWC. The pressurized reservoir placed downstream the test section allows simulating different setting levels of the model and therefore recovering the cavitation performances as well.

The operation of the test rig is controlled with an automatic regulation system through a customized LabVIEW® interface that allows for real-time measurement and display values of pumps speed, flow discharge, testing head, water temperature and Thoma number. The full capabilities of a National Instruments cRIO 9074 are used to run an autonomous regulation system based on real-time measurements in order to keep constant the value of the desired parameters (e.g. testing head, discharge, pumps speed, Thoma number, et al.). The communication between the hydraulic test rig and further measurements/monitoring systems (e.g. testing model control system) is based on a wireless architecture. In addition, the test rig control system manages a dedicated cloud of variables and makes them available for client systems, and ensures safe data centralization and storage on model testing.

Capabilities of the new HES-SO Valais-Wallis hydraulic test rig

  • High-precision measurements of hydraulic characteristics following the IEC 60193 standard recommendations
  • Multi-user control system architecture (Wi-Fi communication)
  • Automatic regulation of the recirculating pumps speed, discharge and head
  • Allows for different positive and negative setting levels of the testing model and therefore to recover the cavitation performances as well

Main characteristics

  • Maximum head: 160 mWC
  • Maximum discharge: 100 m3/h
  • Generating power: 20 kW
  • Pumping power: 2 x 18.5 kW  &  1 x 5.5 kW
  • Maximum pumps speed: 3’500/3'000 rpm
  • Total circuit volume: 4.5 m3


Vlad Hasmatuchi, vlad.hasmatuchi@hevs.ch

Performance testing projects


Design and control of a new hydraulic test rig for small hydro turbines
Hasmatuchi V., Botero F., Gabathuler S., Münch C.
The International Journal on Hydropower & Dams, Volume 22, Issue 4, 2015, pp. 51-60