Pumped storage power plays increasingly important roles in modern society but requires some complex equipment. The characteristics of the S-shaped region of a reversible pump-turbine caused significant difficulties in the stable operation of the unit. In this paper, the 1# pump-turbine at Baoquan storage power station is studied. The basic variations of the internal flow were understood using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation, and the relationship between head variation and the ‘S’ characteristic was analyzed. It was found that the basis of the ‘S’ characteristics was channel congestion caused by vortices. Methods that might be used to eliminate the effects of the ‘S’ characteristic are also given. The authors believe that the research findings in this paper could provide the technical support needed for stable operation of such units, as well as further studies of the ‘S’ characteristic.

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