An investigation into the effects on fluid toss geometry over the spillway & ski-jump weir

Benjamin Stafford Physics
Benjamin Spaude Physics

Terry Jo Leiterman Professor of Mathematics


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The spillway and ski-jump fluid flow device is utilized in hydroelectric power, flood protection, and even big-industry recreation. Such flow control structures are used to affect the movement of a fluid where the balance of forces is central to the study of their fluid dynamics. In open-channel flows, the Froude number in used to classify the flow into categories, two of which are tranquil (calm flow) and turbulent (rapid flow). The purpose of this study is to determine how the toss geometry is affected by the Froude number with a spillway weir guided into a ski-jump. Data was collected in the St. Norbert College fluid mechanics laboratory where the fluid velocity and height were measured in two different points in the open-channel flow. To quantify how the Froude Number relates to the toss geometry, the height, and length of the toss were also measured. We expected the geometry of the toss to increase in both height and length creating different maxima points as the velocity changes. If our hypothesis is correct, then we will see the toss geometry change based on the Froude number. During the data-collecting process, we observed two distinct fluid tosses, a primary toss, and two symmetric secondary tosses. After collecting data, we noticed that our hypothesis is valid for the primary toss, but inconclusive for the secondary tosses. With additional research on the spillway & ski-jump weir, we advance our understanding of fluid flow when this type of control structure is present, allowing us to prevent erosion and control flooding.

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