Title: Assessment of an innovative floating hydro generator prototype through experiments and modelling

Authors: Abhishek Asthana; Sanjay Mukherjee

Addresses: Hallam Energy, MERI, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK ' Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 4AA, UK

Abstract: This work involves developing and testing a prototype of new design of a floating undershot waterwheel. The design uses linkage mechanism between paddles and shaft to always keep the paddles normal to the water-flow to maximise power transmission and efficiency, and to allow using the waterwheel in very low water flow conditions. The prototype was tested in two different field trials: 1) in a swimming pool with jets of water to replicate low flow conditions; 2) in a millstream to replicate normal flow conditions to experimentally measure the mechanical power outputs. The experiments showed 55%-69% efficiency, close to the best performances for undershot water wheels recorded in literature. The floating design also allows aquatics to move freely under the wheel and does not require disruptive construction of barrages or other permanent structures. The findings are promising and encourage further optimisation of the current design and target even higher efficiencies.

Keywords: hydropower; water wheels; renewable energy; computational fluid dynamics; CFD.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDE.2020.113064

International Journal of Design Engineering, 2020 Vol.9 No.2, pp.141 - 157

Received: 23 Dec 2019
Accepted: 18 Sep 2020

Published online: 16 Feb 2021 *

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