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Title: Hydrostatic pressure converters for the exploitation of very low head hydropower potential
Author: Senior, James Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 067X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
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Much of the world's available hydropower potential has been exploited, and within the western world attention is increasingly being focussed on hydropower sites with very low head dierences. These are sites where the vertical distance through which water falls is less than ve metres, and remain unexploited as there is a recognised lack of hydropower technology avaiable to exploit these low-power sites economically. The aim of this work was therefore to develop a novel hydropower machine which could be used to viably exploit very low head dierences in river environments. A review of the hydropower technologies determined that the established machinery is primarily driven by the operational principles of impulse, reaction, or potential. It was however noticed that some less well established designs appear to be driven directly by the hydrostatic pressure which could be generated by a depth of owing water. This observation had not been previously acknowledged. It was also recognised that investigation into this operational principle could potentially result in machines that were both relatively simple, and have high ow and power capacities when compared to the established technologies. It was identied that there could be two approaches to exploiting hydrostatic pressure, and ideal theories were developed to describe both approaches. The resulting physical concepts were called Hy- drostatic Pressure Converters. Scale models of these concepts were hydraulically tested, veriying the proposed theories, and providing data from which estimates of full scale performance were made. These predicted that the two proposed designs of Hydrostatic Pressure Converter were suitable for head dif- ferences below 2.5m, normally the domain of the traditional waterwheel. They would operate with high hydraulic eciency, at around 80%, but have a signicantly greater ow capacity and power output per unit width of machine, at 500% that possible using a traditional waterwheel. In conclusion this work has identied, analysed and prototyped a novel approach to exploiting very low head hydropower potential. The resulting Hydrostatic Pressure Converters are a signicant and promising development in the eld of very low head hydropower.
Supervisor: Muller, Gerald Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering