Optimization of Kaplan Hydro-Turbine at Very Low Head with Rim-Driven Generator

[+] Author and Article Information
Ahmad I. Abbas

2353 N Farwell Ave Apt.613 Milwaukee, WI 53211 aiabbas@uwm.edu

Ryoichi S. Amano

115 E. Reindl Way Glendale, WI 53212 amano@uwm.edu

Mandana S. Saravani

1560 N prospect ave apt 404 Milwaukee, WI 53202 sheikhz2@uwm.edu

Mohammad D. Qandil

3200 N. Cramer St. Milwaukee, WI 53211 mdqandil@uwm.edu

Tomoki Sakamoto

Osaka Osaka City, Osaka-Fu 53212 Japan tomoki.sakamoto522@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received January 18, 2019; final manuscript received May 3, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043710 History: Received January 18, 2019; Accepted May 05, 2019


The objective of the paper is to study the design and optimization of Kaplan hydro turbines for very low head (less than 3 meters), with a particular emphasis on the use of rim-drive electrical generators. The work is based on Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of a variety of design parameters for maximum output power and efficiency. Two designs are presented in the paper. One is a 90-cm (35-inch) diameter vertical-oriented Kaplan hydro turbine systems as an intended product capable of generating over 50 kW. The other is a smaller, 7.6-cm (3-inch) diameter horizontal-oriented system for prototyping and laboratory verification. Both are analyzed through CFD based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of transient turbulence. Specific design for the runner and the stator, as well as guide vanes upstream of the turbine, were studied to get the most from the available head. The intent is to use 3D-printing manufacturing techniques, which may offer original design opportunities as well as the possibility of turbine and water conduit design customization as a function of the head and flow available from a specific site.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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