Experimental Investigation of a Water Vortex Power Plant – Performance and Degree of Efficiency
The demand for renewable sources of energy is increasing every day. The use of non-renewable sources of energy is being phased out due to its negative environmental impacts. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find alternative sources of energy. A water vortex power plant, which is the object of this study, is a low head hydropower plant, which works on the principle of vortex flow. The surveyed water vortex power plant operates at low speeds up to 30 rpm. An experimental study was conducted to find the influencing parameters on the power and efficiency of the water vortex power plant. Firstly, a detailed literature review has been carried out to study the past work done in the area. Next, experiments have been conducted on the vortex power plant model. A set of parameters were varied to find the dominant parameters affecting the efficiency of water vortex power plant. By analyzing results from suitable experiments, the dependency of parameters on the water vortex power plant was found. A performance curve is identified for the optimum generation of electrical power from this power plant. Based on the results, recommendations have been made for increasing the efficiency of the power plant.
Keywords - Efficiency, Generator Curve, Laboratory Model, Micro Hydropower, Performance.