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Flow Analysis in Axial Flow Hydro Turbine for Development

of Runner Design for Very Low Head Application


Nowadays, electricity play important role to develop the country. In

generation the electricity methods, hydropower is the optimal solution among
these because operation is minimum in hydropower electricity generation. The
row of renewable energy has been considered as first piority for global
enviroment concerns. Hydro power is good way for reducing enviromental
impacts[1].The concept of hydropower system is encouraging technology in
renewable energy. From four major rivers in Myanmar. However an estimated
amount of hydropower potential is 40 000 MW[12], nearly 75 per cent of the
population cannot access electricity currently and will remain so for the instant
future. However large scale hydro-power plant can supply required electricity
power, capital cost is high for building hydro-turbine dam and transmission
grids to bring that energy to the people.It can lead to flood risk for local
people.We need to consider drawback of this. Therefore, new techanology will
be needed to solve mentioned problem.

In general,there are two type of turbine in hydropower systems.They are

 impulse and

 reaction turbine.

In Impusle turbine,water is stored in resivor at high place as porential

energy.This energy is change into kinetic engergy in water jet and struck the
buckets to get power from water.For reaction turbine,combine action of pressure
and water flow are change into power. Therefore,reaction turbines are more
suitable for low head operation[2].Among reaction turbine, axial flow turbines
are more efficient for low water heads sites [3,4].However micro-hydro cannot
supply electricity to national grid line,they are used in remote areas where grid
does not extend.Typically,they provide power at the range of from 200watts to
Some studies Muis Abdul [11] conducted on blade design of axial
flow hydro-turbine by using XFOIL that controlled via MATLAB. Vortex plane
method is used to analyze the fluid flow inside cascade to obtain the maximum
of the lift force in airfoil geometry . Toshiba Hydro-eKIDS reported a new
product for low head and micro scale hydro-electric power plants [5], and had
shown that the efficiency of the axial flow at low head micro-installations was
recorded over 70% according to test rig unit in reference [6]; in addition, it is
expected to increase with more iterative designs. Most Studies[7,8,9] studied
the effect of guide vane angles, turbine blade angles, geometry on turbine

Relatively little know about that the influence of flow criterion on runner
designs. Moreover, changing the flow has great impact on runner. For example,
increasing flow rate can wear blades because of cavitation and decreasing flow
can lead to insufficient power output. The main aim of this research to develop
runner design and improve efficiency in axial flow hydro turbine for very low
head application by analyzing flow in runner. Particularly, the study has
following sub-objectives.

1. To provide comprehensive review of sources

2. To review exiting design parameters, method of calculation.

3. To analysis flow criterion on runner

4. To calculate modified design parameter

5. To compare new design efficiency and existing design efficiency

Preliminary Literature Review

The performance of the axial flow turbine in microhydro

installation is predicted by simulating various guide vane angles and
turbine blade angles, supported by using available experimental data[7].
Singh and Nestmann [8] presented modification of a propeller
runner geometry to optimize the runner performance with gross head
from 1.5 to 2 m, and using the free vortex theory blade are design. The
results pointed out that the efficiency was very significantly rising from
55% to 74%. An axial hydro- turbine with low heads micro-potential flow
at various flow rates and heads, ranging from 1 m to 5 m is designed[ 9]
by modified their geometry and their model improve 3.5% efficiency .
However, their researches focused on free vortex theory blade design.

Ramos et al. [13] developed and studied a new reaction micro-

hydro tubular propeller turbine without volute or guide vanes to
overcome the shortage of energy in rural and isolated areas. This turbine
show that it is suitable for constant flow state and more economical.
Yassi and Hashem- loo [14] developed an Agnew turbine, which is an
axial micro- hydro of Kaplan type, with its main shaft subtended to the
line of horizon for low heads and limited flow. Test results showed that a
turbine peak efficiency is 62%. Moreover ,modified version of the Agnew
turbine is 23% higher efficiency than the original design. Their observes
are major milestone of the development of turbine design for very low
head application.

The recent development of computer-based tools with more

efficient algorithms has allowed a substantial improvement in hydraulic
turbine design. Priyono Sutikno and Ibrahim Khalil Adam at el[15,16,17]
reported that an application of the minimum pressure coefficient , various
flow criterions, for axial-flow hydraulic turbines cascade geometry
design. This research point out that geometry parameter stagger angle λ,
camber angle θ, pitch and chord ratio t/l depend on the minimum pressure
coefficient and flow ceterions..It highly commendable for providing
information on flow criterions and minimum pressure coefficient have a
high impact on runner’s parameter.
Mg Tezar Linn[18],Mg Than Naing Win[19] designed and
constructed 5KW propeller hydro turbine for mini-hydro power system in
Myanmar.Two head(2.5m and 2.2m) testing are made.

For this testing, maximum efficiency is54.1% with 3.9KW output

at 2.5m and 49.3% with 2.875KW output at 2m. This research did not
consider the relation of angles and flow variation on runner radius. The
inlet angle near the hub also did not exactly construct. Ma Htoo Htoo
Hlaing designed ,exactly constructed and tested performance of 3kW
kaplan turbine for micro hydropower[20]. According from performance
test result, modified runner design is more effecient than existing
turbine.The overall efficiency and mechanical efficiency are 56% and

All things consider, most researchers studied design develop runner

geometry by free vortex theory,and some studies provided the important
insight that flow criterion play important role in development of runner


Concerning the preliminary literature in the first part of the thesis, I am

going to study the literature review and existing runner design .An then i will
collect the data from existing design testing.

Second stage is calculation of modified runner design.After calculation,i

will make model of runner by CAD software.
Final part is running this protoype with various data by using simulation
software.All of output datas will be recorded and compared existing design

If the current design efficiency is more than existing design,prototype

will be made for current design and draw the turbine performance curve.

[1] ] Abhijit Date, Akbarzadeh Aliakbar. Design and cost analysis oflow
head simple reaction hydro turbine for remote area power supply. Renew
Energy 2009;34:409–15.

[2] Edy E. Jiménez. Final study report, achievable renewable energy

targets for Puerto Rico's renewable energy portfolio standard. Puerto Rico:
Puerto Rico's energy affairs administration; 2009. 〈〉
(chapter 8, available at).

[3] Round George F. Incompressible flow turbomachines. Burlington:

Butter- worth-Heinemann; 2004 (chapter 3) (turbines).
[4] David Kilama Okot. Review of small hydropower technology. Renew
Sustain Energy Rev 2013;26:515–20

[5] Toshipa products

ference_lists/ekids.pdf〉 [accessed 29.08.13]

[6] Alexander KV, Giddens EP, Fuller AM. Radial- and mixed-flow
turbines for low head microhydro systems. Renew Energy 2009;34:1885–94

[7] Parker GJ. A theoretical study of the performance of an axial flow

turbine for a micro hydro installation. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part A: J Power
Energy 1996;210:121

[8] Singh Punit, Nestmann Franz. Experimental optimization of a free

vortex propeller runner for micro-hydro application. Exp Therm Fluid Sci

[9] Derakhshan S, Kasaeian N. Optimal design of axial hydro turbine for

micro- hydropower plants. In: Proccedings of the 26th IAHR symposium on
hydraulic machinery and systems, IOP conference series, earth and
environmental science, vol. 15; 2012. p. 042029.

[10]Than Naing Win 2002.Design And Construction Of 15KW Propeller

Turbine For Micro Hydro Power Plant.

[11] Abdul Muisa,b,*, Priyono Sutiknoa, Aryadi Soewonoa, Firman

Hartonoa. Design optimization of axial hydraulic turbine for very low head
application. 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Energy Engineering
and Application, ICSEEA 2014

[12] Meeting, AnnualDoran, DChristensen, MDlAye, TLegal, Df.

HIDROENERGIA PREVIEW Hydropower in Myanmar : Sector

[13] ] Ramos Helena M, Simão Mariana, Borga A. Experiments and CFD

analyses for a new reaction micro hydro propeller with five blades. J Energy
Eng 2013;139:109–17.

[14] ] Yousef Yassi, Hashemloo Safar. Improvement of the efficiency of

the agnew micro-hydro turbine at part loads due to installing guide vanes
mechanism. Energy Conv Manag 2010;51:1970–5.
[15] Sutikno, PriyonoAdam, Ibrahim Khalil. Design , Simulation and
Experimental of the Very Low Head Turbine with Minimum Pressure and Free
Vortex Criterions

[16] Elbatran, A HYaakob, O BAhmed, Yasser MShabara, H M.

Operation , performance and economic analysis of low head micro-hydropower
turbines for rural and remote areas : A review

[17] Muis, AbdulSutikno, PriyonoSoewono, AryadiHartono, Firman.

Optimal Design of Two-Dimensional Cascade with Shock- Free Inflow