Nowadays, due to the need for clean energy and sustainable electricity production, hydropower plays a central role in satisfying the energy demand. Particularly, use of low head micro hydropower plants is spreading worldwide, due to their low payback periods and good environmental sustainability. Gravity water wheels are micro hydropower converters typically used in sites with heads less than 6 m and discharges of a few cubic meters per second. Although water wheels were scientifically investigated as far back as the eighteenth century, they were largely ignored throughout the twentieth century, and only in the last two decades has there been a renewed interest in their use among the scientific community. In this paper a review on gravity water wheels is presented, distinguishing between undershot, breastshot and overshot water wheels. Water wheels technology is discussed focusing on geometric and hydraulic design; data and engineering equations found in historic books of the nineteenth century are also presented. Water wheels' performance is described examining experimental results, and modern theoretical models for efficiency estimation are presented. Finally, results achieved through experiments and numerical simulations were discussed with the aim of optimizing the performance of gravity water wheels. The results showed that maximum efficiency of overshot and undershot water wheels was around 85%, while that of breastshot water wheels ranged from 75% to 80%, depending on inflow configuration. Maximum efficiency of modern water wheels can be maintained at such high values over a wider range of flow rates and hydraulic conditions with respect to older installations. Hence well designed water wheels can be considered as efficient and cost-effective micro hydropower converters.

Gravity water wheels as a micro hydropower energy source: A review based on historic data, design methods, efficiencies and modern optimizations / Quaranta, Emanuele; Revelli, Roberto. - In: RENEWABLE & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY REVIEWS. - ISSN 1364-0321. - STAMPA. - 97:(2018), pp. 414-427. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.08.033]

Gravity water wheels as a micro hydropower energy source: A review based on historic data, design methods, efficiencies and modern optimizations

Emanuele Quaranta;Roberto Revelli
2018

Abstract

Nowadays, due to the need for clean energy and sustainable electricity production, hydropower plays a central role in satisfying the energy demand. Particularly, use of low head micro hydropower plants is spreading worldwide, due to their low payback periods and good environmental sustainability. Gravity water wheels are micro hydropower converters typically used in sites with heads less than 6 m and discharges of a few cubic meters per second. Although water wheels were scientifically investigated as far back as the eighteenth century, they were largely ignored throughout the twentieth century, and only in the last two decades has there been a renewed interest in their use among the scientific community. In this paper a review on gravity water wheels is presented, distinguishing between undershot, breastshot and overshot water wheels. Water wheels technology is discussed focusing on geometric and hydraulic design; data and engineering equations found in historic books of the nineteenth century are also presented. Water wheels' performance is described examining experimental results, and modern theoretical models for efficiency estimation are presented. Finally, results achieved through experiments and numerical simulations were discussed with the aim of optimizing the performance of gravity water wheels. The results showed that maximum efficiency of overshot and undershot water wheels was around 85%, while that of breastshot water wheels ranged from 75% to 80%, depending on inflow configuration. Maximum efficiency of modern water wheels can be maintained at such high values over a wider range of flow rates and hydraulic conditions with respect to older installations. Hence well designed water wheels can be considered as efficient and cost-effective micro hydropower converters.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2712517
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