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Numerically aided design process for piano key weirs

Ademoğlu, Serhan
Piano Key weirs are recently developed hydraulic structures and provide valuable benefits in discharge efficiency and dam safety. This new type of labyrinth weir is an excellent alternative for traditional labyrinth weirs with its relatively small footprint. Labyrinth weirs were developed for increasing the discharge capacities of existing dams. However, their footprint does not allow them to be placed into dam crests easily. Nevertheless, Piano Key weirs can be directly implemented on existing spillways and increases the unit discharge capacity higher than the traditional weirs for similar heads and spillway widths. Piano Key weirs reduce the construction costs with their simple and replicable shapes. With all of these, this new type of structure becomes an interesting solution for dam rehabilitation. However, design methods of a Piano Key weir are still insufficient. The flow behavior of a Piano Key weir cannot be predicted accurately. Although there have been many investigations carried out, current data are not enough to allow a general design procedure because of the complex hydraulic behavior of the Piano Key weir. In this study, a comprehensive three dimensional numerical investigation will be performed in order to support a reliable design process to obtain a generalized design procedure for the discharge capacity of Piano Key weirs by using computational fluid dynamics CFD-Software Flow-3D®.