The purpose of this design project is to establish an effective means for designing and developing micro-turbine systems for low head high flow applications. Currently there are minimal sources in the United States to purchase this type of turbine system. Hydroelectric dams have been frowned upon in America due to the impact that they have on the ecosystem of the rivers that they are installed on. However, with the increase in cost of energy people are seeking means to produce constant renewable energy. Currently there are hundreds to thousands of sites where siphon turbines could be installed. Siphon turbine systems are effective because they can be installed over dams that are already in place.
Preliminary Siphon Tube Design
The siphon turbine being developed features some innovative design concepts. One of these is a controllable pitch mechanism for the turbine blades. In turbomachinery, the ability to change the pitch of the blades increases efficiency over a wide range of conditions, which is financially desirable. Along with designing the controllable pitch mechanism for the hub, new turbine blades are being designed with specialized software to maximize the efficiency of the redesigned turbine.
Controllable pitch mechanisms are used in large scale hydro applications, but are less commonly seen in small scale applications. Design work in the second semester is focused on the development of a new system for controlling and adjusting the pitch of the turbine blades while the turbine is in operation. The controllable pitch mechanism being designed features a key advantage over current models, the elimination of the complicated concentric shaft system normally required to adjust the blade pitch.
Exploded View of Controllable Pitch Mechanism Design
Removing the need for a concentric shaft also makes the controllable pitch mechanism an appealing development for use in boat propellers. This aspect of the project has also been explored (see section…)
Our design team: Geoff deBree, Brian Erickson, John Jacques