Volume 22, No. 03, Month SEPTEMBER, Year 2022, Pages 231 - 244

Optimal design of guide vane for improving mini hydro power plant efficiency by using twin axis vertical turbine

Kanisorn Tom Thanatwutthigorn, Ratchaphon Suntivarakorn

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This research aimed to increase the efficiency of a pico-hydropower plant with Banki type turbines by installing a guide vane system as the inlet water control. It was observed that the inlet angle of attack and the number of turbine blades had affected the efficiency of the pico-hydropower plant. Moreover, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was conducted for validation by creating a guide vane with inlet angles of 5 to 30 degrees and a turbine with 15–40 blades. The turbulent model in the SOLIDWORKS Simulation was selected as the fluid dynamic model. The simulation results statistically showed that the inlet angle of attack had a greater influence on the torque than the number of blades, with P-values of 1.1893x10-7 and 0.3915, respectively. The efficiency investigation using a 25-blade turbine with inlet angles of attack of 5, 10, 15, 20, 24, and 30 degrees, showed that the turbine with the 24-degree inlet angle of attack had exhibited the highest system efficiency at 45.83%. This research focused on vertical axis Banki turbine, which has been designed for electrical generation in irrigational canal only. In the practical demonstration, a 3-kW electrical generator system was installed across the canal, and the system efficiency was also investigated. The results showed that the maximum system efficiency was at 48% with a 0.7 m system head and a flow rate of 0.4 m3/s. This represents results which were higher than predicted from the simulation at 45.83% and a greater performance than that of the generating system without a guide vane at 34.96%.


Guide vane; Hydropower; Low head; Turbine; Twin turbine


Published by : Asian Institute of Technology
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