Modelling and performance of a small siphonic hydropower system

Abstract : A siphon turbine is a low-head, axial-flow hydropower device that can be installed across an impound structure, such as a weir. A laboratory-scale siphon turbine and generator system is built from both off-the-shelf components and bespoke components designed using well-documented guidance. This paper proposes a modelling method for the system, which allows performance to be assessed as a function of operating variables including head, electric load, runner speed and flow rate. An un-modified, commercially available propeller is used for the runner, whose blade geometry is defined within the model as a set of polynomials. This enables flow angles at any radial position on a blade to be determined as a function of the system operating point. Consequently, the impact of design changes on system performance can be quantified, such as part-load efficiency for example. Testing using the laboratory-scale system is conducted up to a maximum gross head of 0.25 m, to validate the component models and then to demonstrate that the final system model provides satisfactory agreement with experiments over the operational speed and head range. The model therefore permits rapid conceptual design to be carried out without the need for computationally intensive co-optimisation of components.
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Bernard Stark, Edward Andò, G. Hartley. Modelling and performance of a small siphonic hydropower system. Renewable Energy, Elsevier, 2011, 36 (9), pp.2451-2464. ⟨10.1016/j.renene.2011.02.012⟩. ⟨hal-02147701⟩

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