Overview of Autoventing Turbine Technology Development Project

by William R. Waldrop, TVA Engineering Lab, Norris, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the discharge of hydro plants represent one of the most significant environmental concerns confronting the hydropower industry. This is especially of concern to utilities attempting to relicense older plants and to build new facilities. One method which shows promise is the autoventing turbine (AVT). The concept of an AVT involves air to be aspirated into the water as it passes through the turbine whenever concentrations of DO are less than desired. Because of this simple and natural process of aeration, the AVT promises to be more cost efficient and reliable than any of the other techniques. This has been demonstrated through experimentation at TVA's Norris Dam. An applied research project is being conducted to develop experimental and numerical methods to allow for reliable design and deployment of this new 'environmentally improved' hydroturbine. TVA is providing overall coordination for this research which is being performed cooperatively with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research. This applied research project is fully integrated with a scale model test program jointly supported and conducted by TVA and Voith Hydro to test alternative locations for venting air into replacement turbine runners for Norris Dam.

Subject Headings: Turbines | Hydro power | Dissolved oxygen | Water quality | Water pollution | Project management | Power plants

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