Hydrolowhead is an axial flow turbine with a new Power Electronics System that allows it to adapt its rotation speed to flow rate changes, therefore keeping its maximum efficiency without regulable blades.
We have developed an electronic control system based on regenerative braking.
This technology takes advantage of the effect of the electric motors which, acting as generators connected to a load, generates a resistive torque onto its axis. By coupling this axle to a hydraulic turbine, and changing the braking torque exerted on the turbine generator, we can control the amount of power drawn and, therefore, the operating point of the turbine.
Thanks to the electronic control system patented by TECNOTURBINES, the regulation of the turbine operating point is done by varying the speed at which the turbine rotates.
This technology flips completely the concept used up to now in hydraulic turbines control systems. Instead of moving blades in order to keep a constant speed on the generator, the control system patented by TECNOTURBINES fixes the blades and modifies the speed at which the turbines spins.
Therefore, the complex and expensive cost of the moving blades system is removed leading to a more cost effective solution not only in CAPEX but also in OPEX.
The concept of variable speed turbine, keeps a maximum efficiency turbine to any flow within a range. This is accomplished by maintaining the angles of the triangle at constant speeds, both in the inlet and outlet of the impeller.
The system improves the power generation over time, with low maintenance costs and spare parts available into the market. Because all of this, our product will be interesting not only for new installations, but in retrofitting of existing installations as Archimedes screws.
The objective is to build a real-scale prototype to test and validate its correct functioning. This is done through different phases:
Consisted on Hydrodynamic and mechanical calculations (CFD simulations) to evaluate and redesign the turbine shape for specific Low Head Hydropower with the aid of computational tools.
The model, the mesh and the simulation conditions were prepared, based on the real conditions of turbine operation. At the end of this phase, several geometrical improvements will be proposed to optimize the turbine functioning.
Rotor comparison. Optimization of the rotor geometry
Consists on the optimization and improvement of the axial shaft turbine design (15Kw and 45 Kw). With the results we have obtained during the execution of the previous task, we pretend to modify the initial computational design of the turbine to optimize and improve its performance.
As a result of CFD simulation we have improved the rotor, changing the angles for better use of water energy.
Rotor Blade 1. Von Misses tension representation. Load combination B
Dimensions 45kW Turbine
Focuses on the manufacturing and commissioning of the optimized axial flow turbine (model 1:5, 1.1 KW). The manufacturing of model 1:5 is necessary for the laboratory essays to corroborate the CFD results.
Model 1:5 Hydro Low Head turbine
The objective is to validate the functional behavior of the previous built optimized turbine. The test will include the yield curves characteristics of the turbine (flow variation, behavior under pressure variations, efficiency in a range of flow rates, etc.). The complete system will be assembled in a test bench to validate the real installation in order to obtain the characteristic curves of the turbine, function of its parameters and variables.
The laboratory tests were developed in the University of Seville (Spain), under the supervision and direct collaboration of Professor Javier Davila, through his company D&BTech.