June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Energy Conversion and Conservation
22.1027.1 - 22.1027.15
Low Cost Water Tunnel for 100W Hydro-Kinetic Turbine TestingIn a multi-year project our students are designing,prototyping,andtestinghydro‐kineticdevicesintendedtoprovideelectricalpowerinremoteregionsbyextractingenergyfromrivercurrents. The low-cost submergible devices must not disturb surface use of waterwayswhile producing between 20 and 100 watts of power for river currents between 1 and 3 m/s.These hydro-kinetic power systems must be tested in a full range of water flow velocities. Localriver testing does not readily provide a wide range of flow velocities and commercially availablewater tunnels start at $14,000 for a model with a maximum flow velocity of 0.3 m/s and a 70 in2test cross-section, much less than the 400 in2 test cross-section needed.This paper describes the conversion of a pre-existing 24 foot diameter 4 foot deep above-groundpool into a variable flow-rate water tunnel facility using $500 of additional equipment. Waterflow is generated by an 80 pound thrust trolling motor powered by a pulse-width-modulatedmotor controller. Steady state flow rates as a function of input power are measured with andwithout central vortex suppression. Suitability for hydro-kinetic testing is verified bycharacterizing the velocity cross-section of a test section and comparing it with velocity cross-sections found in a local river.Additional applications of low cost water tunnels are explored including: flow visualization,scale model testing of wind power systems, and fluid drag measurements on watercraft.
Forringer, E. R., & Green, M. G., & French, J. J., & Leiffer, P. R. (2011, June), Low-Cost River Simulator for 100W Hydro-Kinetic Turbine Testing Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18304
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