Articles & Case Studies

New thinking for Hydropower

Posted: Tuesday 10th July 2012

Aquatic Control Engineering Ltd and Fishflow Innovations have been working closely together to provide a fresh outlook on hydro turbine power generation and pumping in the UK, combining ecological concern with high output efficiency.

The installations of traditional Archimedean hydro turbines in catchments and tidal environments have produced a range of negative ecological impacts, most notably in the UK, fish migration. Current designs, featuring sharp leading edges have damaged and killed fish that try to pass through or nearby. Studies to show that fish passage with these turbines is successful have often not identified the passage of larger fish, particularly Salmonids. Typically diversions such as fish ladders and Larinier passes are installed to allow for the passage for fish upstream but there is still risk of mortality in the turbine itself for fish migrating downstream.

Our new design for Archimedean hydro turbines addresses the majority of current hydro turbine problems.

Firstly the leading edge of the Archimedean screw has been tapered and fixed into a rotating drum. This lowers turbulence and provides a smooth edge-less ride for fish safely to the other side. In addition this enclosing drum and tapered leading edge provide a smaller loss of water thus increasing efficiency and reducing noise pollution in comparison with traditional designs.

Our new Archimedean Hydro turbines are fitted into an adjustable frame; compared to traditional fixed turbines this allows the top of the turbine to track the water level, increasing efficiency throughout the year and during tidal fluxes. These turbines have been tested in Delft University (Top University in Holland for Civil Engineering) for efficiency of up to 85%- see included chart.

The use of unique materials including a silicon carbide coating, which is used on bullet proof vests and ceramic disk pads, increase the longevity of the product to a minimum 50 year lifespan. The rigidity of a composite material used provides strength in the shaft to prevent warping, a common failure of steel based counterparts.

Archimedean screw turbines have not had the most successful past, but with a new image comes a new chance to prove that Archimedean hydropower can work in unison with the local ecology whilst providing feasible outputs to its users. Should you require any more information or a full leaflet on the Archimedean Hydro turbine please do not hesitate to contact on 01777 249080

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