The head of low-head hydropower stations is generally higher than 2.5m in the world, while micro-head hydropower resources which head is less than 2.5m are also very rich. In the paper, three-dimensional CFD method has been used to simulate flow passage of the micro-head bulb turbine. The design head and unit flow of the turbine was 1m and 3m3/s respectively. With the numerical simulation, the bulb turbine is researched by analyzing external characteristics of the bulb turbine, flow distribution before the runner, pressure distribution of the runner blade surface, and flow distribution of the outlet conduit under three different schemes. The turbine in second scheme was test by manufactured into a physical model. According to the results of numerical simulation and model test, bulb turbine with no guide vane in second scheme has simpler structure, lower cost, and better flow capacity than first scheme, which has traditional multi-guide vanes. Meanwhile, efficiency of second scheme has just little decrease. The results of three dimensions CFD simulation and test results agree well in second scheme, and higher efficiency is up to 77% which has a wider area with the head of 1m. The curved supports in third scheme are combined guide vanes to the fixed supports based on 2nd scheme. By the water circulations flowing along the curved supports which improve energy transformation ability of the runner, the efficiency of the turbine in third scheme is up to 82.6%. Third scheme, which has simpler structure and best performance, is appropriate for the development and utilization of micro-head hydropower resources in plains and oceans.
Hydraulic Characteristics of the New Type Bulb Turbine With Micro-Head
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Li, L, Zheng, Y, Zhou, D, & Mi, Z. "Hydraulic Characteristics of the New Type Bulb Turbine With Micro-Head." Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Volume 15: Safety, Reliability and Risk; Virtual Podium (Posters). San Diego, California, USA. November 15–21, 2013. V015T16A014. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2013-62936
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