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Remote river energy system: an open-source low-maintenance turbine design for remote areas

Ian Masters Orcid Logo, Joshua Bird, Benjamin Birch, Maximilian Reader, William Turner, Tom Holland, Thomas Lake Orcid Logo, Alison Williams Orcid Logo

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy, Volume: 175, Issue: 2, Pages: 64 - 80

Swansea University Authors: Ian Masters Orcid Logo, Thomas Lake Orcid Logo, Alison Williams Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1680/jener.21.00101

Abstract

Axial flow hydro-kinetic turbines convert the kinetic energy of a flowing fluid into electrical energy, and can be designed for deployment in a wide range of locations. As relatively recent technology, these designs are often high in cost, complex and require specialist maintenance and materials. Th...

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Published in: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy
ISSN: 1751-4223 1751-4231
Published: Thomas Telford Ltd. 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58143
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Abstract: Axial flow hydro-kinetic turbines convert the kinetic energy of a flowing fluid into electrical energy, and can be designed for deployment in a wide range of locations. As relatively recent technology, these designs are often high in cost, complex and require specialist maintenance and materials. This is not viable for many communities in developing countries, which may subsequently remain reliant on fossil fuels. A remote river energy system has been designed to be built and maintained using minimal equipment, with components that can be readily obtained. A formal design process has been used with design review and feedback stages; design tools included Simulink modelling, finite-element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, nodal analysis and flume testing. A handful of components such as the turbine blades require specialist machining and maintenance. Results demonstrate how an effective water turbine with a 3 kW output can be theoretically produced and maintained without an over-reliance on specialised components and tools, thereby producing a more economically viable water turbine for use in developing countries. Open-source distribution of the design drawings will facilitate application of the design and improvements by other stakeholders. The design study presented is a platform for prototype technology trials to further develop the concept.
Keywords: Renewable Energy; Sustainability; turbine; low head hydro
College: College of Engineering
Funders: UKRI
Issue: 2
Start Page: 64
End Page: 80