Rim-Drive Turbine for Low Head Applications

by Mark J. Sundquist, STS Consultants Ltd, Lansing, MI, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '85


A turbine design and testing program was undertaken with the objective of developing a standardized turbine/generator arrangement that would be well suited to the 10 to 30 foot head range. Advantages of the rim-drive turbine include: the driving mechanism on the turbine is through a rotating rim connected to the turbine blade periphery; speed increase can simply be handled by use of different pulley size for belt or chain drives; as a drive shaft is eliminated, the unit is compact which reduces the civil works required for the powerhouse. The design and testing program included laboratory model tests on a 1 to 4. 5 scale. Four prototype rim-drive turbines with a turbine diameter of 54 inches are now being manufactured. These units will be installed in the Fall of 1985 at the Morrow Dam Powerplant located near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Subject Headings: Laboratory tests | Turbines | Head (fluid mechanics) | Hydro power | Power plants | Hydraulic design | Hydraulic models | Traffic speed | Michigan | United States

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