An Integrated Turbine Generator for Low Head Hydropower
76196-The use of hydropower as a renewable energy resource could be significantly expanded if low-head systems could be exploited. Recent low-head (<30 ft) hydropower activities have focused on sites with a capacity of 1 MW or less. However, commercialization will not be likely unless new turbines are designed that can efficiently and cost-effectively extract this power throughout this power range. To achieve these goals, this project will integrate the turbine vanes into the rotor structure of a switched reluctance generator. The nature of the switched reluctance generator makes it an ideal candidate for variable speed applications. The resulting rotor will remain magnetically active, while directly being worked upon by the water flow. The overall system will be smaller and less expensive than traditional hydro turbines. Phase I will develop a design methodology for the turbine that balances the simultaneous needs of the turbine capabilities with the magnetic requirements of the machine. The design approach will be verified with a rapid prototype of the resulting rotor geometry and tested in a laboratory hydro environment. Magnetic capabilities will be modeled with finite elements and a design will be proposed for a Phase II effort. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A low head hydro turbine that exhibits scalability has broad market opportunities, including rural electric power, tidal or river generated power, and municipal water supplies.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Advanced Energy Conversion
155 West High Street Ballston Spa, NY 12020
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