Directional dependency of flow resistance in an unlined rock blasted hydropower tunnel
The dependency of the friction factor on the flow direction was investigated experimentally in a milled scale model of an unlined rock blasted tunnel under pressurized flow conditions by reversing the flow direction. The experimental data were used to highlight the significance of anisotropic roughness structures and variations in the cross-sectional area on the flow resistance. It is hypothesized that local sudden expansions of the cross-sectional area, which are followed by gradual contractions, contribute significantly to the directional dependency of the friction factor due to potential flow separation. For the reversed case, i.e. when sudden large-scale contractions were followed by gradual expansions, 15% lower friction factors were observed. The results were also used to highlight the scale dependency of these topographical features, the dependency of the friction factor from the tunnel driving direction, and to show the need for the development of methods that can be used to parameterize the directional dependency of hydraulic roughness and friction factors.