Commentary on the Efficiency of Selected Structural Designs of Low Head Micro Hydraulic Power Plants

  •  Alexander Parygin    
  •  Alexander Volkov    
  •  Artem Ryzhenkov    


This article compares, first of all, structural designs of low head micro hydraulic power plants using Kaplan turbines. The authors have chosen this turbine class because siphon turbine systems suck the water up over the dams, can operate at temperatures below 0°C and are associated with less capital costs than turbine systems of other types. Besides it, mobile micro power plants can be easily assembled in a modular way and be installed on floating platforms thus providing appeal to a growing market niche. The authors discuss the issue of identity of possible structural designs of siphon micro hydraulic power plants in terms of their efficiency and selection of optimal pressure heads. They have developed a criterion of comparison of efficiency of various designs of siphon micro hydraulic power plants and provide evidence of virtual identity of selected structural designs with identical parameters in terms of efficiency. This criterion allowed them to make estimates in search for an optimal solution in terms of gross head (vertical distance between the highest and lowest water surface) versus net head (effective head available for power generation which is gross head less all the losses in the water conductor system including penstocks), which can be useful for designers of micro hydraulic power plants.

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