BS in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering
BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department
Means of hydroelectric power generation today typically require state or federal funding, massive construction projects and high head differentials with the use of a dam. With thousands of miles of canals and waterways at our disposal, it is necessary to find a cost effective way of generating a substantial amount of power from low-head hydroelectric power sources.
This senior project details research on low-head hydroelectric power generation, along with the design, construction and evaluation of a twisted Savonius hydroelectric turbine. Sizing optimizations for a twisted Savonius turbine were performed, and the hydroelectric power generation unit was constructed, including a housing for placement in a flume. This turbine was tested at varying flow rates and head differentials and the theoretical power outputs were calculated.
The turbine performed well under low flows and very low head applications, providing nearly 700W of power from approximately one foot of head loss. This design for a low-head hydroelectric turbine could easily be used in a canal or waterway for commercial farming, residential or for pumping plant applications.