Development of Hydropower Converter for Very Low Head Differences

  • Research & Development
  • Apr 2008 - Mar 2012
  • Donor: European Commission - Research Executive Agency
  • Donor Programme: Seventh Framework Programme of European Commission - Cooperation programme
Western Europe
Western Europe

The proposed project has the aim to develop and optimise a novel type of turbine for small hydropower (<1000 kW) and very low head differences below 2.5m, which is significantly more cost-effective than current technology and minimises adverse ecological effects. This novel turbine utilises hydrostatic pressure differences in free surface flows. It will be developed for three specific applications, namely the application in rivers (and in particular at existing weir locations), the deployment in free stream situations and the exploitation of very small head differences in water supply and distribution networks. In order to widen the potential area of application, the technology will be adapted for developing countries. In order to achieve this aim, the following objectives have been defined: 1. Investigation of generic configurations of energy converters using theoretical and physical models. 2. Development of energy converters for three different applications using theoretical and numerical modelling and 2/3D physical model tests. 3. Concurrent assessment of environmental impact in order to develop a design with minimum ecological impact. 4. Optimisation using numerical modelling 5. Design and deployment of large scale models in nature to assess scale effects and environmental effects in a real environment. 6. Development of designs with appropriate technology (developing countries) 7. Development of recommendations and design handbook