Research Publication Title

Stacked Hydropower Design

Presenter Information

Lawrence HarrisonFollow

Major

Environmental Science

Faculty Mentor

Samuel Mutiti

Keywords

Hydropower, Renewable Energy, Sustainability

Abstract

Stacked Hydropower Design Lawrence Harrison One of the ways to combat global warming to keep increasing the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable energy instead of fossil fuels. Hydropower is sustainable but always environmentally friendly because of the large footprint it has when dams are involved. Conventional designs of hydropower systems focus on a horizontal setup with power generators operating separately requiring a lot space for the plant. In this project, I tested a design focused on having a vertical system where generators are vertically stacked and operate in the same flow tube. The goal was to determine whether the stacked vertical setup would produce the same power as the sum of individually run generators. This setup requires significantly less space and therefore, has a smaller footprint than the horizontal setup. The setup was tested using GOSO generators stacked vertically and run using water from a hose and in a stream (Champion creek) at lake Laurel dam. Water flow rate at the dam was measured using a Flowatch velocity meter. Water velocity from the hose was regulated to match the velocity of water at Lake Laurel dam (0.3 m/s – 0.8 m/s). The voltage output on each generator was measured using a Jen Yaush voltmeter. When the generators were run individually they produced 12.5 V. When three generators were run in stacked system along the same flow tube they also produced about the same voltage. It is important to note here that there were a few challenges getting a combined reading from the vertical setup so the generators’ outputs were also measured individually. These results showed there was no loss in output when these generators are stacked vertically and taking up less horizontal space. This vertical system can be a source of energy in places with limited space. More research is however needed to assess the existing barriers to implementing such a setup on a big scale.

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Stacked Hydropower Design

Stacked Hydropower Design Lawrence Harrison One of the ways to combat global warming to keep increasing the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable energy instead of fossil fuels. Hydropower is sustainable but always environmentally friendly because of the large footprint it has when dams are involved. Conventional designs of hydropower systems focus on a horizontal setup with power generators operating separately requiring a lot space for the plant. In this project, I tested a design focused on having a vertical system where generators are vertically stacked and operate in the same flow tube. The goal was to determine whether the stacked vertical setup would produce the same power as the sum of individually run generators. This setup requires significantly less space and therefore, has a smaller footprint than the horizontal setup. The setup was tested using GOSO generators stacked vertically and run using water from a hose and in a stream (Champion creek) at lake Laurel dam. Water flow rate at the dam was measured using a Flowatch velocity meter. Water velocity from the hose was regulated to match the velocity of water at Lake Laurel dam (0.3 m/s – 0.8 m/s). The voltage output on each generator was measured using a Jen Yaush voltmeter. When the generators were run individually they produced 12.5 V. When three generators were run in stacked system along the same flow tube they also produced about the same voltage. It is important to note here that there were a few challenges getting a combined reading from the vertical setup so the generators’ outputs were also measured individually. These results showed there was no loss in output when these generators are stacked vertically and taking up less horizontal space. This vertical system can be a source of energy in places with limited space. More research is however needed to assess the existing barriers to implementing such a setup on a big scale.

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