CFD simulations to optimize the blades design of water wheels
Emanuele Quaranta and Roberto Revelli
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
Received: 24 Jan 2017 – Accepted for review: 28 Jan 2017 – Discussion started: 30 Jan 2017
Abstract. In low head sites and at low discharges, water wheels can be considered among the most convenient hydropower converters to install. The scope of this work is to improve the performance of an existing breastshot water wheel changing the blades 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 performing experimental tests on the wheel with the existing profile. The numerical results show that the efficiency of breastshot wheels is affected by the blades profile. The average increase in efficiency using the new circular profile is about 4 % with respect to the profile of the existing blades.
Quaranta, E. and Revelli, R.: CFD simulations to optimize the blades design of water wheels, Drink. Water Eng. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/dwes-2017-2, in review, 2017.