An Integrated Turbine Generator for Low Head Hydropower

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER83882
Agency Tracking Number: 76196S04-I
Amount: $99,650.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 39
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0075
Small Business Information
Advanced Energy Conversion
155 West High Street, Ballston Spa, NY, 12020
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Torrey
 (518) 289-8020
Business Contact
 David Torrey
Title: Dr.
Phone: (518) 289-8020
Research Institution
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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