Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Energy Conversion and Conservation
A team from XX XX University’s Rapid Center in XX, XX XX visited a local fish farm to determine why a previously installed stream-powered, electricity generating system was not working correctly. The team met the owner and a local Agricultural Extension Office Manager (AEOM), at the site. The AEOM provided the team with a tour of the primary structures and equipment. The system inspected consists of four water-powered turbines connected to 1320 feet of 8-inch black plastic, seamless pipe. The pipe inlet provides 98 feet of head (42.2 psi) to power the turbines. The turbines provide wattage generation based upon delivered water flow at a specific pressure. The higher the water flow and pressure, the higher the turbine wattage output, up to 1 kilowatt each, maximum output. The turbines appear to operate correctly, but the water pressure was measured to be less than optimum, affecting the turbine wattage output. The team inspected the length of the pipeline and found issues of concern. First, the pipe inlet suction structure was not totally flooded. It appeared that air might be introduced into the pipeline through the suction opening by the venturi effect. Secondly, the static pressure readings taken at the turbine building were not as expected. The expected static pressure, considering the 98 feet of head was 42.4 psi. The actual reading was 22 psi. The team discussed the static pressure issue and inspected the pipeline, finding a couple sections were not flooded with water. There were no significant leaks, but there were sections of the pipeline, which had slipped off their support structures. The pipeline included sections, which were full of air. Since no major leaks were detected, air entrapment was considered as the cause of the head pressure issues. The sections of the pipeline which were out of position could trap air. This paper discusses the measures taken to correct the inlet water piping to the stream powered turbines.
Ford, G. D., & Karayaka, H. B., & Suk, S. J. (2018, June), Air Entrapment Issues in Piping for a Small Hydroelectric Station in Western North Carolina Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29764
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