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Drinking Water Engineering and Science An interactive open-access journal

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Drink. Water Eng. Sci., 10, 27-32, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/dwes-10-27-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
16 May 2017
CFD simulations to optimize the blade design of water wheels
Emanuele Quaranta and Roberto Revelli Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
Abstract. At low head sites and at low discharges, water wheels can be considered among the most convenient hydropower converters to install. The aim of this work is to improve the performance of an existing breastshot water wheel by changing the blade shape using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations. Three optimal profiles are investigated: the profile of the existing blades, a circular profile and an elliptical profile. The results are validated by performing experimental tests on the wheel with the existing profile. The numerical results show that the efficiency of breastshot wheels is affected by the blade profile. The average increase in efficiency using the new circular profile is about 4 % with respect to the profile of the existing blades.

Citation: Quaranta, E. and Revelli, R.: CFD simulations to optimize the blade design of water wheels, Drink. Water Eng. Sci., 10, 27-32, https://doi.org/10.5194/dwes-10-27-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
Breastshot water wheels are hydropower converters that efficiently work at low head sites (lower than 4 m) and at low discharges (1.2 cubic meters per meter width maximum). Water wheels represent an attractive solution for decentralized energy production. The aim of this work is to improve the performance of an existing water wheel by changing the blade shape using numerical simulations. An optimal profile was determined, and general recommendations for the blade design are reported.
Breastshot water wheels are hydropower converters that efficiently work at low head sites (lower...
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