Researches in Hydrokinetic Turbines

Sep 9, 2017   //   by admin   //   Knowledge Base  //  No Comments


Kinetic energy ( energy of motion ) is converted in to mechanical work from long ago . The use of energy of water is considered to be first form which is invented by humans in ancient times for conversion of kinetic energy of natural resources ( river water ) in to mechanical work .For example water rod . Even today it is used to locate water pumps in inlands. The potential energy of water is used to generate electricity with the help of hydraulic turbines where water is directed from beginning to end in dams is used as a technology. Thus the technology of use of kinetic energy to generate electricity is well thought-out   alternative to produce electricity from a renewable source of supply.

There are abundant researches which have prepared for the use of hydrokinetics . The Centre of Research in Electrical Energy ( CRPEL, (NASCIMENTO,1999 ) cite use of a axial type turbine with the help of water rod to generate electricity. This first equipment, constructed in association with a national manufacturer of water rods and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro COPPE, The first well succeeded experience with hydrokinetic energy in Brazil was developed by researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Brasilia with funding from the Foundation for Technological and Scientific Enterprises – FINATEC. Since 1991, group of researchers has been experimenting with diverse prototypes of vertical and axial turbines, as shown in figure1.

In 1926 Albert Betz calculate the kinetic energy of wind, where he showed that only 59 percent of the energy can be extracted of the total wind energy to produce mechanical work with a turbine, and that this condition occurs only when the velocity of the flow which leaves the turbine is one third of the velocity that enters the turbine. Zulcy (1999) makes an reference to hydrokinetic turbines for the generating of electrical energy which he denominated “Low head hydraulic central with hydraulic hydrokinetic turbine. In this article Zulcy analyses the characteristics of Vertical axis turbines are preferred when its necessary to take advantage of kinetic energy of flow that can have its direction changed, such a for example, tidal systems. One of the first patents of these kind of turbineswas issued to Georges Darrieus in 1931 (DARRIEUS, 1931). He invented a turbine havingits rotating shaft transverse to the flow of the current and blades with a streamlined section analogous to that of the wings of birds .In 1995 this conception was optimized by Alexandre Gorlov, (GORLOV,1991) who mounted the blades in a helicoidal form, obtaining with this more uniformity in it functioning. There are few references in Brazilian literature about the use of kinetic energy to generate electricity. One of the first papers is a report of a prototype of a horizontal axis type turbine designed by the National Institute of Amazon Research (INPA), called “cata-agua” (HARWOOD, 19). Jahangir Khan, Powertech Labs, British Columbia, Canada. 2006. Based on the available formal literature, the very first example of river turbine that was developed and field tested is attributed to Peter Garman. An initiative by the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) in 1978 resulted in the so-called Garman Turbine specifically meant for water pumping and irrigation. Within a period of four years, a total of nine prototypes were built and tested in Juba, Sudan on the White Nile totaling 15, 500 running hours. Experience gained during this venture indicated favorable technical and economical outcome. Initial designs had a floating pontoon with completely submerged vertical axis turbine, moored to a post on the bank. Later designs consisted of an inclined horizontal axis turbine with almost similar floatation and mooring system. Detailed investigation on a low cost water pumping unit indicated 7% overall efficiency and concluded with emphasis on societal and cost issues. More recent commercial ventures resulting from this work are being pursued by Thropton Energy Services, Marlec Engineering Co. Ltd. , and CADDET Center for Renewable Energy. al to extracting only 15% of the total energy potential that the U.S. coastal waves contain.






1)Hydrokinetic turbine for isolated villages-Rudi Henri van Els Clovis de Oliveira Campos Antonio Manoel Dias Henriques Luis Fernando Balduino

Department of Mechanical Engineering – University of Brasilia (UnB)

Fundação de Empreendimentos Científicos e Tecnológicos – Finatec


2)”State of River Energy Technology

Jahangir Khan, Powertech Labs, British Columbia, Canada. 2006.



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