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Performance Comparison of Different Rotors on Cross-Axis Hydrokinetic Turbines for Power Generation in Water Canals

W.B. Hamner
Hydrovolts Inc., US

Keywords: hydrokinetic, marine, renewable energy, turbine


The hydrokinetic energy in water channels can be tapped for renewable power generation using hydrokinetic turbines of different designs. The rotors for these turbines can generally be classified into drag or lift designs. Hydrovolts has developed a cross-axis hydrokinetic turbine that can use drag or lift rotors on the same chassis. Three sizes of turbine chassis and has tested four different rotors on them. The rotors designs are Savonius, Savonius offset, Flipwing and Darrieus. Each rotor in a size class has the same cross-sectional area, being either 1x0.5m, 2x1m, or 3x3m. This ensures each group of rotors receives the same hydrokinetic energy input. The different rotors were installed on the turbines and their performance was measured in a large water flume and during tow tests on a lake. It was demonstrated that the adaptable turbine chassis operated with all the rotors and at all the velocities, and performance data was gathered for each rotor and for hydrodynamic performance of the turbine chassis.
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