Labyrinth weirs are commonly used to increase the capacity of existing spillways and provide more efficient spillways for new dams due to their high specific discharge capacity compared to the linear weir. In the present study, experimental and numerical investigation was conducted to improve the rectangular labyrinth weir performance. In this context, four configurations were tested to evaluate the influence of the entrance shape and alveoli width on its discharge capacity. The experimental models, three models of rectangular labyrinth weir with rounded entrance and one with flat entrance, were tested in rectangular channel conditions for inlet width to outlet width ratios (a/b) equal to 0.67, 1 and 1.5. The results indicate that the rounded entrance increases the weir efficiency by up to 5%. A ratio a/b equal to 1.5 leads to an 8 and 18% increase in the discharge capacity compared to a/b ratio equal to 1 and 0.67, respectively. In addition, a numerical simulation was conducted using the opensource CFD OpenFOAM to analyze and provide more information about the flow behavior over the tested models. A comparison between the experimental and numerical discharge coefficient was performed and good agreement was found (Mean Absolute Relative Error of 4–6%).

  • This paper presents the rectangular labyrinth weir efficiency with flat and rounded entrance for channel applications.

  • The rectangular labyrinth weir efficiency is mainly dependent of its inlet alveoli capacity.

  • Both numerical and experimental model provide close results.

  • Interfoam solver enables to give more information about the effect of inlet shape and the alveoli width.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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