Parametric Analysis of Gravity Vortex Turbines as a Low Cost Renewable Energy Alternative from Low Head Hydraulic Resources

ÜNsalan D., Izet-ÜNsalan K., GÜRSEL K. T.

Scientific Bulletin of Naval Academy, vol.23, no.1, pp.22-28, 2020 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.21279/1454-864x-20-i1-003
  • Journal Name: Scientific Bulletin of Naval Academy
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.22-28
  • Keywords: Gravity vortex, low head hydraulic turbine, potential flow, renewable energy
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


© 2020. SBNA. This work is licensed under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License. All Rights Reserved.The long existent worldwide trend for large scale hydroelectric power plants, relying on dams are now under severe criticism for the large areas their reservoirs occupy, which are often fertile agricultural areas and sometimes flood cultural heritage sites. However, there are also environment-friendly alternatives for hydroelectric power production, which are capable to obtain energy from small scale streams with relatively low heads. Such smaller scale sources with low cost facilities can be used for electric production by alternative schemes that use small streams, irrigation canals and divertions from rivers, tidal pools, overtopping wave energy converters and urban wastewater. One of the recent types of such plants are the gravity vortex turbines that use the naturally occurring “sink vortex” draining such water. They are highly efficient and able to obtain energy from sources with flow rates as low as 1 m3/s and heads as low as 0.80 m. Such water sources are abundant in most of the rural areas and it is possible to obtain either an important part or the total need of the energy requirement of the nearby communities with such systems. Gravity vortex turbines have low costs due to their simple structure and are easy to maintain. They can also be implemented for overtopping wave energy and tidal energy systems, as well as recovery units of pumped energy storage schemes. The purpose of this paper is to propose relations for the design and parametric analysis to size the relevant parts of the plant- the pool and the turbine. Potential flow is assumed throughout the analysis. Attempts to obtain optimized relations between the relative sizes and rotational speeds for the pool, water source, turbine are made and inputs for preliminary design are obtained.