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Hydropower converters with very low head differences

Objective

Small hydropower with very low head or pressure differences below 2.5 m and hydraulic power ratings of 50 to 1000 kW is a significant renewable resource, with an estimated unused potential in rivers alone of e.g. 600 to 1000 MW in the UK and more than 500 MW in Germany. The economically and ecologically efficient utilisation of this hydropower bracket still constitutes an unsolved problem since conventional turbines (Kaplan or Cross flow) are not cost effective, and since they are considered to have a negative ecological impact. In order to open up this hydropower bracket for exploitation, an innovative solution - the hydrostatic pressure turbine - was developed. This novel hydraulic machine utilises differential hydrostatic pressures; with theory and initial model tests indicating high theoretical efficiencies for low head differences. It rotates at slow speeds and operates under atmospheric pressure with a continuous bed, thus minimising negative impact on fish and allowing for unhindered sediment and fish passage. Initial work indicated significant development potential, whilst the expected structural simplicity promises increased cost effectiveness. Three configurations will be investigated for different applications in rivers with a head difference, for free stream situations and for energy generation in water supply systems. The configurations will be optimised using a combination of small and large scale model tests, theoretical and numerical modelling. The ecological impact will be assessed at every step of development, and fed back into the R/D process to achieve an ecologically effective design. In the absence of appropriate testing facilities, large scale tests will be conducted in natural rivers scenarios, adding to the realism of environmental impact assessment. The project is expected to develop, and prove, novel economically and ecologically effective hydropower converters for applications with head differences below 2.5 m.

Call for proposal

FP7-ENERGY-2007-1-RTD
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
Address
Highfield
SO17 1BJ Southampton
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 775 536
Administrative Contact
Amanda Coe (Ms.)

Participants (10)

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAT DARMSTADT
Germany
EU contribution
€ 542 227
Address
Karolinenplatz 5
64289 Darmstadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Cornelia Seeberg (Dr.)
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION -UNESCO
France
EU contribution
€ 318 377
Address
Place De Fontenoy 7
75352 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Jeltsje Kemerink (Ms.)
INSTITUTO SUPERIOR TECNICO
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 338 356
Address
Avenida Rovisco Pais 1
1049-001 Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Teresa Malhoa (Dr.)
ISTA ANDREEVA LTD
Bulgaria
EU contribution
€ 230 401
Address
Ivan Peichev Street 1
1700 Sofia
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Svetlana Andreeva (Ms.)
HORST RUHNKE STAHLBAU
Germany
EU contribution
€ 82 131
Address
Zum Pappelgrund
23966 Karow
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Horst Ruhnke (Mr.)
SWIFT ENGINEERING GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 115 510
Address
Nebeniusstrasse 34
76137 Karlsruhe
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Klemens Kauppert (Mr.)
UNIVERSITET PO ARCHITEKTURA STROITELSTVO I GEODEZIJA
Bulgaria
EU contribution
€ 121 918
Address
Hristo Smirnenski Blvd 1
1046 Sofia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Dimitar Kisliakov (Dr.)
UNIVERSITAET ROSTOCK
Germany
EU contribution
€ 895 227
Address
Universitatsplatz 1
18055 Rostock
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Helga Röbke (Ms.)
HIDROPOWER LTD
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 88 470
Address
Beloura Office Park
2710444 Sintra
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Maria Mello (Ms.)
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET BRAUNSCHWEIG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 124 860
Address
Universitaetsplatz 2
38106 Braunschweig
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Katinka Koll (Dr.)