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Hydrokinetic Energy Conversion Systems and
Assessment of Horizontal and Vertical Axis
Turbines for River and Tidal...

Article in Applied Energy · October 2009
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.02.017


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M.J. Khan
BC Hydro


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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .see front matter Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. . . . . .com (G. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . Quaicoe). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Memorial University. . . . . . . Canada V3W 7R7 b Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science. . . . . . . . . . . . 1832 6. . M. . . .. . .com/locate/apenergy Hydrokinetic energy conversion systems and assessment of horizontal and vertical axis turbines for river and tidal applications: A technology status review M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rotor configurations . along with their classification and qualitative comparison. . . . . . . . . . . . . . (J. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1832 Acknowledgement . Powertech Labs Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Technology survey . . . . . Canada A1B 3X5 a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t Article history: The energy in flowing river streams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1830 4. 1826 3. . . .apenergy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Based on a comprehen- Renewable energy Tidal current sive survey of various hydrokinetic systems reported to date.2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conversion schemes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . Khan a. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction * Corresponding author. . . . . . . . . . . . This 0306-2619/$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .khan@powertechlabs. . . . . . . . 1824 2. . . . . . . . . .com (M. . . .J. . . . Tel. . . . . . .E. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or other man-made waterways for generation of electricity. . . . 1828 4. fax: +1 604 590 8192. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . All rights reserved. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Iqbal b. . . . . . . . . . . . the progression of technological advancements tracing several decades of R&D efforts are highlighted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Applied Energy journal homepage: www. . . . . . . . . . In this paper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and placement methods are deduced. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusions. . . . . . . . . . . . Survey methodology . . tidal currents.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1833 References . . . Surrey. . . . . . . . . .bhuyan@ The process of hydrokinetic energy conversion implies utiliza- powertechlabs. . . . . A number of Accepted 24 February 2009 resource quantization and demonstrations have been conducted throughout the world and it is believed Available online 1 April 2009 that both in-land water resources and offshore ocean energy sector will benefit from this technology. . . . . . . . . NL. . . . . . .E. . . . . . . 1831 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Horizontal and vertical axis turbines . . . . . . . . albeit mostly at its early stage of Received in revised form 23 February 2009 development. . . gouri. . . . . . . . . . general trends in system design. . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . Contents 1. . . 1826 3. . . . . . . . .T. . . . . . . . . . . . . Hydrokinetic energy conversion .2. . 1826 3. . . . . . . . . Quaicoe b a Power System Technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A detailed assessment of various turbine systems Hydrokinetic technology (horizontal and vertical axis). Hydrokinetic conversion systems. . . . . . . . Analysis of survey . BC. . . . . John’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tariq@mun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1833 Appendix A. . . .elsevier. . . . . . . . E-mail addresses: jahangir. . Iqbal). . . . . . G. . . . . . . . . . . starting with a set of basic definitions pertaining to this technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1824 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Khan). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a review of the existing Keywords: and upcoming conversion schemes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . doi:10. . .T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tidal currents or other artificial water channels is being considered as Received 13 August 2008 viable source of renewable power. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1827 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of surveyed technologies (in alphabetic order). . . . Bhuyan). . . . . 1823 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1828 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction . .J. . . . . . .1. . . All rights reserved. . . . . . . . . . Terminologies for turbine systems. . . . . . . . . . . and their fields of applications are outlined. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . duct aug- River stream mentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is presented. . . Technical advantages and disadvantages of horizontal and vertical turbines . . . . . . . . .1016/j. . . . . . . . .02. . Areas of application. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1825 2. . . Bhuyan a. . . . may appear suitable in harnessing energy from such renewable resources. . jquaicoe@mun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ca tion of kinetic energy contained in river streams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Duct augmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .: +1 604 590 6634. . . . . .ca (M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . Rotor placement options. . . . . . . . . . . . Duct augmentation In addition. . . 1833 1. . . . . .

dal barrages. are mostly at the proof-of-concept stage (with some exceptions . etc. US Depart. cross-sectional area. and their conversion concepts. gies. Also. In this paper. the conversion efficiency of hydrody- tions on the use of hydrokinetic technologies for in-land water namic. in a channel) are continuously being put forward. the front-end process of hydrodynamic-to-mechanical power way of the water stream. and such conversion. This section aims at elaborating on In addition to worldwide interest. EPRI [11]. this work mostly deals with ers are constructed without significantly altering the natural path. At the – Axial (Horizontal): Rotational axis of rotor is parallel to the same time various projects and proposals are in place within a incoming water stream (employing lift or drag type blades) number of jurisdictions in North America ([16–20]). anchoring. various turbine concepts and designs are being widely pursued (Fig. A variant of this class includes biomi- metic devices for energy harvesting [31]. hydrokinetic convert. Outline of a hydrokinetic energy converter system [37]. how to place a turbine (employing lift or drag type blades) [24]. US Federal Energy Regulatory concepts categorized in two broader classes (turbine/non-turbine) Commission (FERC) has stated this technology as of tremendous is given below: potential [14]. – Gravitational vortex: Artificially induced vortex effect is used in driving a vertical turbine [26]. the approach of a (that creates pressure gradient) is used to run an in-built or number of technology developers as well as R&D institutions are on-shore turbine [25]. recent initiatives by North these issues in consultation with the existing literature and present American entities have also seen a greater momentum [1–4]. Discussions on perfor- recognized as a unique and unconventional solution that falls mance analysis and modeling issues are beyond the scope of this within the realms of both in-land water resource and marine en. power electronics. field of application. Recently (2003–2007). 2. [21]). definition of technolo. or electrical processes reduce the overall out- resources have been conducted by organization such as. In contrast to conventional hydroelectric plants. [22]. 1. mechanical.). trends. 1). While turbine systems are conceived as prime choices for ment of Energy [10]. (employing lift or drag type blades) [23]. – Sails: Employs drag motion of linearly/circularly moving sheets of foils placed in a water stream [32]. Conversion schemes tives of North America’s tidal current energy potential.J. notable progress The energy flux contained in a fluid stream is directly depen- has been made in Bay-of-Fundy (Nova Scotia) and in Puget Sound dent on the density of the fluid. 2) while the non-turbine systems (Fig. Resource and technology assessment by EPRI in US [5]. the US congress has endorsed the Energy Inde- pendence and Security Act of 2007 (the ‘‘EISAct” [15]) bringing fur. face and also orthogonal to the incoming water stream damental inquiries (resource availability. In addition. respectively). field of applications.9]. While the enthusiasm in this field is obvious. conversion. A brief description of ten (10) interrelated from a number of project developers. While a number of projects are being actively pursued. In addition to several fun. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 emerging class of renewable energy technology is being strongly analyzed in light of the questions above. large-hydro and micro-hydro. skepticism on – Vertical: Rotational axis of rotor is vertical to the water sur- technological viability is also prevalent. and fluid (Washington) [8. In response to interests sued with keen interest. While a complete converter system may incorporate var- artificial water-head is created using dams or penstocks (for ious important sub-systems (such as. Khan et al. whether surface but orthogonal to the incoming water stream duct augmentation is worth attempting. ambiguity in defining the technology classes.  Turbine Systems ther encouragement to the development of this technology. preliminary investiga. it is also expected that hydrokinetic systems would be more environmen. – Venturi: Accelerated water resulting from a choke system based on a comprehensive technology survey. 2. With regard to ocean power utilization.1. velocity cubed. these technologies can be arranged in multi-unit array that would extract energy from tidal and marine currents as opposed to tidal barrages where stored potential energy of a basin is harnessed. what converter type is best suited. work and will be addressed through separate publications (such ergy. there exists noticeable tally friendly when compared to conventional hydroelectric and ti. – Vortex induced vibration: Employs vibrations resulting from vortices forming and shedding on the downstream side of a bluff body in a current [29]. and environmental monitoring. At present. 3) Fig. Hydrokinetic energy conversion While modularity and scalability are attractive features. where an as. BC Hy- dro/Triton [6] and NRC in Canada [7] have given newer perspec. Being an emerging energy solution. Fig. put.  Non-turbine Systems – Flutter Vane: Systems that are based on the principle of power generation from hydroelastic resonance (flutter) in free-flowing water [27].1824 M. – Oscillating hydrofoil: Vertical oscillation of hydrofoils can be utilized in generating pressurized fluids and subsequent tur- bine operation [30]. a number of technology-specific – Cross-flow: Rotational axis of rotor is parallel to the water questions (such as. other non-turbine approaches are also being pur- National Hydropower Association [13]. Idaho National Laboratory [12]. – Piezoelectric: Piezo-property of polymers is utilized for elec- tricity generation when a sheet of such material is placed in the water stream [28].

4.‘River Turbine’. ‘Water Current Turbine’ (WCT) head.2 m of head’. Conventional hydro versus hydrokinetic energy conversion schemes [10].36]. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 1825 Fig. (d) SeasnailTM [30]. tidal. M. this approach envelopes a Other common but somewhat misleading identifiers include broader spectrum where all kinetic energy conversion schemes ‘Watermill’. arti- stream Energy Converter’ (RISEC) [11]. 4. [30]). Current Turbine’.2. For tidal applications. (d) HydroVenturiTM [25]. reservoir or augmentation) sures of technology classification. 3. or in brief. (c) AtlantisstromTM [24]. ‘Zero Head Hydro Turbine’ [33. As indicated in Fig. ‘Free Flow/Stream potential and working hydraulic head of a potential project as mea- Turbine’ (implying use of no dam. these converters are often termed sharp contrast to the unconventional low-head/hydrokinetic as Tidal In-stream Energy Converter (TISEC) [5] or simply ‘Tidal schemes. the former type of devices are given due attention In a 1981 US Deportment of Energy report [34]. A more recent (2006) assessment by this orga- nization [10] has classified these devices as ‘Low Power/Unconven- The term ‘Hydrokinetic Turbine’ has long been interchangeably tional Systems’ that may use hydro resources with less than 8 feet used with other synonyms such as. ‘Ultra-low-head Hydro Turbine’ [34].35] and adopting a nology is generally identified as ‘River Current Turbine (RCT)’. (b) KoboldTM [23]. the USDoE report uses the hydropower [19. (c) VIVACETM [29]. In keeping with the present norms [5.J. 2. terms may deem suitable for application-specific cases (river. Khan et al. This also indicates that the con- [35]. or ‘In-stream Hydro Tur. Fig. ‘Riv. ventional hydroelectric plants use higher head and/or capacity in bine’ [11]. concise term. Fig. (e) Tidal SailsTM [32]. ficial channel.10–12. Therefore. or even ‘Water Turbine’ [33]. for use in free-flowing/zero-head hydro streams are considered. technology has been defined as ‘Low pressure run-of-the-river ul- tra-low-head turbine that will operate on the equivalent of less 2. the word ‘Hydrokinetic’ is used here. (e) Neo-AerodynamicTM [26]. ‘Water-wheel’. . this class of as they hold promise for deployment in the near future. (b) EELTM [28]. or marine current). ‘River In.33]. For rivers or artificial waterways the same tech. Terminologies for turbine systems than 0. While other er Current Energy Conversion System’ (RCECS) [37]. Example of non-turbine systems: (a) OCPSTM [27]. Example of turbine systems: (a) Free FlowTM [22].

various areas of application – Control: Tidal turbines are candidates for operating under for hydrokinetic devices have been identified. verter. A survey that provides insight into the may operate during both flood and ebb tides. availability of limited information for many devices. tidal current tur- bines are currently being designed with larger capacity (sev.  Application: In the previous section. This arises from a multitude of tech. In addition. other resources include.J. In this survey. the cial systems. As part of this work. only sub-optimal operation can be achieved. irrigation canals. of more recent reports published by EPRI [5]. a tidal or technology review has been conducted and most of the major river current turbine may only be placed at the seafloor/riv. attempts were made netic converters used in river streams may become feasible to identify whether a given scheme is considered for duct aug- in powering remote areas or stand-alone loads. Verdant Power [19]. Technology survey eral MW). The information gathered along the process is organized depending on the level of salinity and temperature.e. if such yaw/ historical perspective and also indicates the industry trends can be pitch mechanism is in place. made channels. ducts. While the information disseminated through the relevant nating the operation of a tidal power plant. This discussion is forecasted tide conditions. this type of alternative schemes may also fall within the distributed generation sce- Two main areas where hydrokinetic devices can be used in narios in the near future. complements a set near-surface structure).1. The survey conducted in this work not only identifies commer- mer has strong stochastic variation (seasonal to daily). Direct water pumping for irrigation. For a hydrokinetic converter. all of put is directly related to flow velocity (and stage).19]. As indicated in Appendix A. This implies. the level of power out. augmentation (i. This survey essen- erbed or in other arrangements (floating or mounted to a tially overlaps the authors’ previous work [37]. Survey methodology – Flow characteristics: The flow characteristic of a river stream is significantly different from tidal variations. man.1826 M.19]). a set of subtle where the tailrace of a stream can be utilized for capacity differences may appear in the forms of design and operational fea. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 2. and space heating are other potential areas of end-use. water velocity varies from one potential site to bine’ or ‘non-turbine’ systems has not been carried out. River turbines on the other hand. a comprehensive – Placement: Depending on the channel cross-section. lack of confidence as far as their survivability and design/dem- scale deployment (analogous to large wind farms). forecasting the flow conditions is more involved and ment has been the basis of this classification. Considerations for these devices is of high significance ingly. While the for. Even the 76 devices or concepts have been attributed to one of the ten though volumetric flow information is available for many (10) conversion schemes. (a) tidal current. as opposed to bidirectional integration challenges as wind power systems and will take tidal variations.  Technology type: In light of the discussion presented earlier. tions). desalination of seawater. For river applica. technology developer. several ambiguous many geographical locations may not have such arrange. and industrial outflows [22.40]. River turbines may not fall into carried forward into the survey by categorizing the potential such paradigms of control and more dynamic control sys. are being considered in the range of few kW to several hundred kW In order to aid the advancement of hydrokinetic conversion [5. principles regardless of their areas of application. current resources) (b) river stream (for free-flowing/zero-head – Resource prediction: Tidal conditions can be almost entirely rivers). onstration are concerned. a turbine of engineering and research. stage of a stream may seventy six different devices and schemes were analyzed. tidal. Khan et al. use of a given device into (a) tidal current (for tidal and ocean tems may need to be synthesized. and Powertech Labs [20]. Bulk power generation through power generation purposes are. technologies and develop suitable solutions to various relevant – Directionality: River flow is unidirectional and this eliminates problems. hydroki. In addition.  Duct: Ducts are engineered structures that elevate the energy unless a correlation between flow variations and site density of a water stream as observed by a hydrokinetic con- bathymetry is established. In tidal streams. cases have been considered as ‘Multi-application’. resource usage maximization) [10. nical (power generation capacity. seawater through the following headings: in different location and time may have varying energy content. or public-domain docu- tions. the other depending on the cross-sectional area.  Design – Size: In order to achieve economies of scale. a tidal turbine unit when placed in a river stream. total of (diurnal to semidiurnal). freshwater. constraints. . and identifies subtle advancement in technical (shipping. Due to have diversely varying profile for these two cases. Ocean current represent another potential source of ocean is expected that these technologies will face similar network energy where the flow is unidirectional. In addition to these. very useful in that regard. and (c) multi-application (river. and turbines are operated accord. fishing. research institute.  Operation 3. Depending mentation (unknown cases were identified separately) or not. Areas of application on how the technology evolves. and other applica- predicted and readily available charts can be used in coordi. – Other purposes: Hydrokinetic turbines can potentially be used While all hydrokinetic devices operated on the same conversion in conjunction with an existing large hydroelectric facility. further division into ‘tur- locations. but also accommodates various R&D initiatives latter undergoes fluctuations of dominant periodic nature undertaken in the academia. advantage of higher resource predictability [39]. and (b) river tidal power plants are expected in longer time horizons. lesser power generation capacity for placement method in a stream. instrumentation) and non. However. schemes reported to date have been considered. tures. Therefore.) are evaluated. 3. primarily because of two opposing reasons (a) potential to aug-  End-use ment the power capacity and hence reduce the cost of energy (b) – Grid-connectivity: While tidal current systems may see large. etc. It stream. These include.38]. and recreational boating) contrast to some previous reviews [34. it is important to identify the current status of this field the requirement for rotor yawing.3. mostly the – Water density: The density of seawater is higher than that of primary conversion hardware and their peripherals (rotors. ments.

) are being investigated. considerations nology of progression.J.2. The summary of these assessments are for incorporating duct augmentation to these systems is a very sig- given in the following section. river turbines have been cally for river applications is less than that of tidal energy systems. Therefore. Reflecting the lesser level of resource Fig. . and industrial outflows) is of high importance. fishing vessels. 6). whereas unknown systems are identified separately. Although a number of novel concepts have emerged recently. These systems ability. In addition to realizing various rotor concepts.) would essentially reduce the effective usable area for a turbine installation [19. As shown in Fig. the number of technologies being developed specifi. duct hydrokinetic energy conversion has mostly seen advancements in augmentation has naturally seen lesser share of consideration the domain of axial (horizontal) and vertical axis turbine systems. whereas significant portion of axial-flow turbines are considered for non-ducted application. as these technologies In addition to the aspects mentioned above. were developed for remote powering applications in various coun. Peru. beyond re-evaluated as these systems attain further advancement (see river or tidal applications only. In addition.46] horizontal axis turbines. 7. about one-third of the axial turbines are considered One interesting observation derived from the survey is that a for seabed/riverbed installations. and (iii) NSM – Near-surface Structure Mounted (Fixed). In this work. the contrary. in relation to a given open-chan- The commercial systems (existing/discontinued) mostly repre.20]. Analysis of survey arrangements. tidal or others). On many these devices is unknown. designed and developed for either floating or near-surface Fig. (ii) FSM – Floating Structure Mounted (Buoyant). 5. Each of the devices or schemes has been assigned to one of these meth. etc. and anchoring) and feasibility studies (surviv- 44] and floating [45. Khan et al. 6. – Competing users of the water stream (recreational boats. From applications point of view. tion (such as. Regardless of the field of application (river. whereas ducts are peripherals to such cial/pre-commercial deployments have brought these systems at systems. The present trend clearly indicates that the area of multiple applica- ods. Use of ducts and conversion schemes. This arises from the fact that most of the turbine concepts The significantly higher number of initiatives and several commer. which needs to be initiatives as solutions for a wide spectrum of applications. artificial waterways. each of the R&D ini. As seen in Fig. the forefront this emerging industry. dam tailrace. is another field of progression where basic design (structural sent several small-scale river turbines employing inclined [41– strength. three classes of mounting arrangements are considered: (i) BSM – Bottom Structure Mounted (Fixed) Fig.). etc. floatation. is a very significant compo- nent for two basic reasons: – The energy flux in the surface of a stream is higher than that of a channel-bottom. availability. this quantity takes diverse values depending on the distance from the shore and chan- nel-geography. 8). (Fig. etc. can probably be tailored to suit resource-specific needs. However. Placement of a turbine system. tiatives is observed for its present status of development and chro. in relation to a channel cross-section. Use of ducts and applications. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 1827  Placement: The method of placement of a hydrokinetic device. river. bridges & culverts. tidal. nel. nificant aspect of this technology’s overall advancement. most vertical axis turbines are being considered tries (Sudan. are still at the R&D level. the current market-status of for either floating (FSM) or near-surface (NSM) placements. Other concepts have indicated great number of technology developers and researchers view their early stage plans on their placement methods. vertical axis systems are given more emphasis for such 3. provisions for competing users. M. 5. water velocity has a highly local- ized and site-specific three-dimensional profile and rotor positioning against such variations will dictate the amount of energy that can be effectively extracted.

especially when the wind energy industry has tical axis turbines are key contenders for further research. respectively). rotary turbine systems employing decommissioned. However. Khan et al. a Such schemes include. On the other hand. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 Fig. a great number of development efforts are directed to- ward realizing solutions that may serve both of these areas. As discussed in Section 3. hydrokinetic energy conversion may fishing. how- ever. the latter group (non-tur- While both vertical and axial turbines have long been consid. employ inclined horizontal axis turbines and probably no development initiatives. This article. it is perceived as a critical element to hydrokinetic conversion concepts. However.1. it can be clearly noticed that the noted that many of the ‘commercial’ systems. horizontal. ered as primary choices for hydrokinetic energy conversion. A broad survey of existing and discontinued tion in the past [28. and other usage) as well as design challenges associated employ either rotary turbo machinery or can use non-turbine with large floating or near-surface-fixed structures.J. vertical. most of these technologies are either at early river turbine prototypes were deployed and operated from their proof-of-concept stage or being developed as part-scale late 1970s to late 1990s [41. oscillating hydrofoil [30]. and piezoelectric conversion) have appeared recently. studied RD&D efforts (76 systems) are shown. Rather. both horizontal and ver. Rotor configurations sidered for placement at the bottom of the channel. as shown in the fig- present decade has so far seen the greatest level of research and ure. 9b. an attempt is made to shed light on many of these issues using qualitative and broad observations. ous technical advantages and disadvantages of these options. of technological concepts as well as diverse fields of applications In Fig. While the former class (turbine system) encompasses harsh sea conditions. piezo polymer conversion [28]. . 7. These efforts have enveloped a multitude longer exist in the market. On the contrary. Duct augmentation is another area. effectively discarded this technology.30. and demonstration (RD&D) initiatives [20]. or cross flow turbines are occupying most of ing hydrofoil and piezoelectric conversion) had gained good atten. The following dis- cussions focus on rotor configurations. the point of interest is that vertical axis systems are seeing re- At the present state of this technology.45] until these were eventually models. especially in schemes. 9a. vibration [29]. It should be hydrokinetic energy conversion. tidal currents or river streams). newed interest. System placement and applications. Horizontal and vertical axis turbines (43% and 33%. vortex induced number of unconventional concepts (such as.47]. develop. 4. In addition to aiming for specific applications (such as. 8. percentages of the turbine systems among all the where hydrokinetic technologies may prosper in future. Various non-turbine concepts (namely.1828 M. and placement schemes. their present status of RD&D initiatives are explored and classified in various maturity development is unknown. Although this result is not surprising. various classical rotary technologies. and variable geom- tion. vortex induced vibra. In this article. bine system) is mostly based on various unconventional concepts. arrangements. oscillat. Presently. System placement and conversion schemes. the discussion. ment. Analyzing the modern day history of groups (from ‘concept’ to ‘commercial’) in Fig. observations of generic nature are provided for the reader and these may appear useful depending on the scope and nature of any RD&D effort in this domain. It can be seen that horizontal and vertical axis turbines consist of the greater share 4. This reflects the constraints imposed by other competing sea users (shipping. many tidal turbines are being con. Several etry sails [32]. which apparently did not find much success in the wind energy domain. followed by a qualitative discussion on vari- Fig. does not attempt to indicate superiority of one option against the other. duct augmentations.

It is however not clear whether these latter devices are still being commercialized. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 1829 Fig. This list is by no means exhaustive. The turbine system reported in [50] was used for water pumping. Horizontal axis rotors with a buoyant mooring mechanism may allow a non-submerged gener- Fig. 10. 12. 11. ator to be placed closer to the water surface. The choice of turbine rotor configuration requires consider.34. A general classification nately called as axial-flow) turbines have axes parallel to the fluid of these turbines based on their physical arrangements is given flow and employ propeller type rotors. Inclined axis turbines have mostly been studied for small river energy converters. three generic classes could be formed (a) horizontal axis. General technology status of hydrokinetic turbine technologies. while the others [42–44] were pro- moeted for remote area electrification. axial turbines for use in hydro environment are shown in Fig. Various arrangements of in Fig. .50].J. Reports and information on rigidly moored tidal/river tur- bines are available in [22. and (c) cross flow turbines. 10. Most of these devices were tested in river streams and were com- mercialized in limited scales. M. Khan et al. and many of the con.49]. Classification of turbine rotors.48. Information on several commer- cial products utilizing such topologies is available in [42–44. Literature on the design and performance anal- ysis could be found in [33. 9. these issues become even vertical axis. The horizontal axis (alter- more dominant for hydrokinetic turbines. Vertical axis turbines. Turbines with solid mooring structures require the generator unit to be placed near the riverbed or sea- floor.51–55]. Information on Fig. Fig. Horizontal axis turbines. Based on the alignment of the rotor axis with respect to water ations of a broad array of technical and economical factors. (b) emerging field of energy conversion. Horizontal axis turbines are common in tidal energy converters and are very similar to modern day wind turbines from concept and design point of view. 11. cepts are adopted from the wind engineering domain. As an flow.

Duct augmentation inder (or straight path) with brim or diffuser. For instance. 15c) are also possible when higher efficiency is required. 13). [35. examples of Darrieus turbine (curved or parabolic blades) being used in hydro applications is non-existent. Various arrangements under the vertical axis turbine category are given in Fig. fuser models (Fig.60–68] a wide array of design.35. . it has been shown that a six hydrokinetic system concepts show that around one-third of power coefficient as high as 1. bines where the channels are of rectangular cross-section. These are mainly drag based de- vices and inherently less efficient than their lift based counter- parts. in order to achieve certain performance features. submerged generator systems can be found in [56.J. Discussions on duct augmentation in river/tidal applica. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 N/A 3% N/A 16% Yes 33% No 36% Nc Yes 64% 48% Fig. of 0.69 is possible. vertical axis turbines are being given more Each of these models come with unique set of performance attention when it comes to duct augmentation. 15b). 15f) can be found in [34. A straight model with a brim (Fig. Darrieus–Savonious hybrid) RD&D on this area will go hand in hand with turbine development. ments.59.71]. Darrieus turbines with cross flow arrangements may also fall under this category. wind-lens. Khan et al. Almost half of the merits and design limitations. Test results on a Augmentation channels induce a sub-atmospheric pressure number of hydrodynamic models can be found in [72. This work has reported a maxi- If a turbine is placed in such a channel. power coefficient1 in- the rotor is higher than that of a free rotor. The ducts for horizontal axis turbines mostly take conical shapes 1 A measure of extracted power against the theoretical fluid power considering (for operation under unidirectional flow) as opposed to vertical tur. poses a design asymmetry and subsequent structural vulnerability bines are drag type devices.57] and that of non-submerged types are presented in [35.77].e.2. concentrator.63 times). 15d) may have a velocity amplifica- Such devices have been widely tested in the wind energy domain. which may consist of straight or for the former type. tion factor of 1. In the vertical axis domain. nozzle. 15e) can be found in [75. 14. considered for horizontal axis turbines can be attributed to this is- Hydrokinetic turbines may also be classified based on their lift/ sues. Analytic and test results of various rectilinear dif- Terms such as. The lesser number of duct augmentation being skewed blades [62. The Gorlov turbine is another member of the vertical axis family. It is believed that further tors may also be hybridized (such as.32. Information on various annular ring shaped diffuser models tions can be found in [34.70]. constraints as the upper ceiling on flow velocity is reduced [72]. A simple channel may consist of a single nozzle.69.67 (i. and augmentation channel are used synonymously for these a diffuser with an inlet and brim performs the best in this category. exceeding the Betz limit the horizontal axis turbines are being considered for such arrange. 12.59]. issues regarding straight bladed Darrieus turbines are discussed. Savonious tur. Different types of ro.72–74]. In [74] various hybrid models with rectilinear sible total power capture significantly. A survey conducted with seventy (Fig. Diffusers with multi-unit hydro- regulate the speed of the rotor and impose lesser system design foils (Fig. fuser. Although use of H-Darrieus or Squirrel-cage Darrieus (straight bladed) turbine is very common. all three options may be incorporated in one unit. duct. The cross flow turbines have rotor axes orthogonal to the water flow but parallel to the water surface. On the contrary. These results only indicate accumulated experience and drag properties. This increases the pos. and fixed/variable understanding of duct augmentation options for horizontal and (active/passive) blade pitching mechanisms. as perceived to date. A simplified classification of various channel designs are given in Figs. In a hybrid design. free-stream/unducted water velocity.1830 M. dif. In addition. In publications such as. Darrieus turbines are the most prominent options. Reported consideration for duct augmentation for (a) horizontal axis and (b) vertical axis turbines. 13. vertical axis turbines.58]. 14 and 15. It has been found that. cyl- 4. the flow velocity around mum velocity increase factor of 1. operational and performance Fig. 15a. creases 4. These turbines are also known as floating waterwheels. example shape is given in Fig. shroud. orientation to up/down flow. In [34]. This im- where the blades are of helical structure [36. the hybrid types per- studied systems consider some form of augmentation scheme to be form better at the expense of bigger size (as high as 6 times the ro- incorporated with the vertical turbine (see Fig. devices.73] and an within a constrained area and thereby increase the flow velocity. Augmentation channel classification.76]. The large amount of material usage is another problem for such turbines [33. it may help to paths are experimented (Fig.63.

Rotor placement options resources may appear limited. converter with a structure that is closer to the surface (near-sur. 16). variation of water velocity N/A 3% BSM N/A 8% 12% NSM BSM 27% FSM 37% 28% NSM 52% FSM 33% Fig.3. A turbine bridges. methods as the only option. there is no clear direction on the most attractive option. bearing. However. may incorporate bottom structure mounting (BSM) arrangement  Footprint: Any trenching. may object to such arrangement. The last option is to mount the this context. 17. The annular shapes also perform very well when channel seems attractive. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 1831 Fig.g. This probably arises from the fact that this option allows the generator and other apparatus to be placed above the water le- vel. Fig. Fishing. Several subtle aspects that can be observed in this regard are highlighted below (see Fig. Percentage of turbines considered for various placement arrangements (a) horizontal axis and (b) vertical axis. at the present state of this technology. gearboxes. offshore oil and gas platforms) are quite abundant. 17):  Energy capture: The energy flux in a river/tidal channel is higher near the surface. In contrast.  Competing users: While placing a turbine at the surface of a tor diameter). shape and design is still an un. and many other activities may leave the BSM or NSM solved problem. knowledge in civil to be incorporated are of paramount importance. shipping. M. Khan et al. placement of engineering domain for bottom mounted structures (e. energy capture using the NSM scheme would see fluctuat- ing output subject to variations in river stage or tide height. Floating or near-surface structures appear more permissible in ture mounting (FSM) is devised. Nevertheless. bine is to be placed various power conversion apparatus (gener- The technology survey conducted as part of this work indicates ator. Also. and power conditioning equipment) that axial-flow turbines are given almost equal consideration for would require special design considerations such as. de. In con- trast.J. the system in a channel also deserves due attention. the BSM method allows only sub-optimal energy capture. NSM). or excavation at the riverbed/ where the converter is fixed near the seafloor/riverbed. 16. recreational tailed investigation on optimal size. However.  Design and operational constraints: Depending on where a tur- face structure mounting. tur. and protection. boating. competing users of the water resource hydrodynamic shapes are optimally designed. piling. Also. Floating structures are still possible but these need to be placed closer to the shore where energy 4.  Construction challenge: Experience of floating structure design While the type of rotor to be deployed and duct augmentation for energy harvesting is limited. of the vertical axis turbines are being considered for near-surface placement. Turbine mounting options. This suggests that the FSM option is the best option as long energy extraction is the prime concern. bine units may operate under variable elevation if a floating struc. water seal- the three options outlined above (Fig. . more than half ing. Channel shapes (top and side view). lubrication. 15. Also. oceanfloor may become subject to environmental scrutiny.

shallow channel. espe- types of suspended particles and materials (fish. In contrast to hori. the generator can be technologies has been revisited with an emphasis on indicating placed in one end of the shaft. torque ripple. Also. tidal and marine current turbines work un. For instance. and artificial incidences (such as. on their design. Therefore. River water is less dense than seawater and therefore it information of axial type rotors is abundant. this may and vortex-induced-vibration) have surfaced in recent times. the blades are designed to have sufficient taper and twist such operation. Siting is more stringent in river channels wind engineering and marine propellers have significantly con- as the usable space is limited and river transportation may further tributed to this field. Technical advantages and disadvantages of horizontal and problem of generator matching. While placed above the water surface. The circular shape of the propeller rations will be studied further. how these factors will affect the design. especially the straight bladed Darrieus sible for vertical axis turbines. transportation. Axial-flow turbines variations. Advancements in has lower energy density. The major conclusions that can be the Darrieus turbine allows convenient mounting of various cur. The The areas of application will have specific repercussions on use blades of a vertical turbine unit are subject to cyclic tangential of duct augmentations devices and corresponding placement pulls and generate significant torque ripple in the output. In a etc. the initial discussions encompassed various definitions and classi- sequent cost in arranging water-sealed electric machines. mental validation. rotor’s disc permits the use of this type of duct. or electromechanical starting mechanisms.  In the presence of a wide variety of terminologies attributed to ity than the lower section. Khan et al. River turbines operate under the influence on the other hand. formance. which is not pos- Vertical axis turbines. rock. Of particular interest is a review of both tation channels provide greater augmentation of fluid velocity as horizontal and vertical axis configurations with regard to their these systems allow concentrated/diffused flow in a three- technical merits and drawbacks. eliminate many of these drawbacks. and this eases the 5. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 and stage will impose operational constraints. allowing reduced gear coupling. these turbines generally possess poor starting per- type systems. design potentially simpler and less expensive. the upper part of a turbine faces higher veloc. and lower efficiency. when this sector of energy engineering is mostly at the design  Annular ring augmentation channels: Annular ring type augmen- and development phase. It remains to be seen. channel cross-section. respectively. Subject to further research and investigation. dimensional manner [34]. There could also be varying demonstrated for large scale applications (10–350 kW). In vertical axis turbines. design simplicity underwater cabling. the state of the hydrokinetic energy conversion the generator. This may require special arrangement for external elec- trical. especially the ones the fundamental process of kinetic energy conversion from with helical/inclined blades are reportedly more suitable for water streams. that lift forces are exerted evenly along the blade. the core analysis has been undertaken based on a com-  Flotation and augmentation equipment: The cylindrical shape of prehensive literature survey. piezo-electric. underwater generator installation and  Design simplicity: As an emerging technology. These channels can also be employed for mooring and floating purposes [72]. ice. experi- success of hydrokinetic turbine technology. allowing the generator to be the current trends in research and development initiatives. 6. Use of such rotors have been successfully constrain the usability of the sites.  Generator coupling: For hydrokinetic applications. of varying volumetric water flow through a river channel subject to various merits of such rotors are: various external factors such as. the term ‘Hydrokinetic’ energy conversion can operation under such conditions [79]. use of straight blades make the ious rotor systems will be available. especially for the near surface and floating. vertical turbines  Control: Various control methods (stall or pitch regulated) of axial type turbines have been studied in great details. and design expertise would allow selection of zontal axis turbines where blade design involves delicate an ideal system. these turbines are self-starting. cially for tidal energy conversion [52]. addition to the continued progress on classical hydrokinetic  Skewed flow: The vertical profile of water velocity variation in a energy conversion approaches (vertical. etc. greater insight into var- machining and manufacturing. In addition. their optimum perfor- mance is achieved at higher rotor speeds. channel may have significant impact on turbine operation. biomimetic [78]. generator cou- pling with the turbine rotor poses a special challenge.). rainfall.J. tion and fatigue loading due to unsteady hydrodynamics are other der the natural events of daily tide flow and seasonal ocean current concerning issues associated vertical turbines.  Knowledgebase: Literature on system design and performance ing. only extensive theoretical understanding. this could be achieved by a right-angled gear coupling. be used as long as sufficient caveats are given for diverse fields . derived from the discussions presented earlier are: vilinear or rectilinear ducts. Cavita- schemes. For axial-flow  Except for some early commercial systems (small-scale remote turbines. and commercialization of various turbine concepts. While different types of rotors come with un- and system cost are important factors that may determine the ique features. mechanical. In this section these two configu. fications. etc.1832 M. axial-flow turbines. As the industry matures. Conclusions izontal axis turbines. This reduces the need and sub. debris. power generation from river streams). ducts can not be easily used for floatation purposes.). In the hor. Vertical turbines. most of the technologies  Noise emission: Vertical turbines generally emit less noise than are at the proof-of-concept or part-system R&D stage. the horizontal turbine concepts due to reduced blade tip losses  A number of novel schemes (such as. long inclined shaft or underwater placement of In this paper. in prove to be beneficial in preserving the marine-life habitat.) in river and sea channels depending on the geography of a  Performance: One key advantage of axial type turbines is that all site. types have gained considerable attention owing to various favor- able features such as: The major technical challenges encountered with axial type ro- tors are: blade design. Depending storm conditions. Due attention is The disadvantages associated with vertical axis turbines are: also required to address the challenges associated with sever low starting torque. upstream dam open. especially protection and efficient operation [52]. Active It is worthwhile to investigate the opportunities and challenges control by blade pitching allows greater flexibility in over speed associated with various hydrokinetic turbine systems.

Blue Energy International. Agreement. Brazil 67. UK (THGL). France energy engineering.Vortex Hydro Energy LLC. Australia. Sweden. of Brasilia UNB. Norway. Statkraft. as. UK 5. Alternative Hydro Solutions Ltd. Belgium 51. and deployment initiatives need to be embarked 49. UK.. ON.. and old concepts resurface/disappear. 36. 72. Edinburgh University. Tidal Turbine Sea Power. Canada 59. Australia 63.Sudan. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 1823–1835 1833 of application such as. 68. 37. Canada 1. Canada. outflows). Bangladesh Univ. Sweden 13. USA 15. AquanatorTM Atlantis Energy.. HydraTM. College of Engineering. Darwin N. Nihon University. ON. UK development. given almost equal emphasis. ine currents.Water Power Industries.. BioPower Systems. Norway. mostly being considered for placement at the bottom of a chan. pany. MI. University of Mani- 11. Arnold Cooper Hydropower Systems. Teamwork Technology. M. Gravitation water vortex power plantTM. of Engg. & Tech. Australia. Gorlov. SwanturbinesTM. irrigation channels. Khan et al. Brazil-prototype (ducted axial). 43. J A Consult. TGL turbineTM. However. Northern Territory University. toba. EELTM.p. and Manu.. School of Engineering. University of Buenos Aires.A. Department of Mech.Lisboa. RotechTM. CurrentTM.. CA solution for renewable power generation and significant research. 50. UK (Tidal Stream Turbine) 4. the review 42. UK. for hydrokinetic energy conversion. Vertical Axis Ring Cam Turbine. Munich University of Technology. PEEHRTM. Brazil-prototype (cross flow). Thropton Energy Services. Brazil 65. Bangladesh 62. Ltd. University of British Columbia. OpenHydro Group Ltd. floating. Canada Canada.. UK. Neptune Proteus Tidal Power PontoonTM. Ann Arbor. Cycloidal TurbineTM. Uppsala University. ZOTLOETERER. UK Appendix A. it can be stated 46. whereas vertical turbines are being designed for either float. London UK from the Univ. US. New Energy Corporation Inc. Miscellaneous. new solu. 76. Canada 9. usage have seen higher preference for the latter class. Portugal in identifying the technology trend being followed in this field of 45. Gorlov 23. US. 41. Jack RabbitTM. HarmonicaTM. Miscellaneous Demonstration projects. Malibu. Germany.. cross-section (bottom. tides. OCPSTM. BC. CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy. Amazon AquachargerTM. Optimset. Mexico. Australia 60. Impulsa TurbineTM. rivers.pdf>. ITDG-Guba. Tidal Generation Ltd. Tidal StreamTM. UK 56. UK. As the hydrokinetic technologies evolve over time. UK 14. . UK Acknowledgement 52.. Atlantisstrom. Tidal Stream GeneratorTM. South Korea. US 8. Tidal Sails AS. NL 6. Supported by ITDG. Scotrenewables Tidal Turbine (SRTT). UK 3. StringrayTM. or near-surface/fixed) are being 34. Annual Report. TocardoTM. Kobold turbineTM. (HEU). 73. 29. UK Funding contributions from NSERC and AIF is duly 54. Engg. 39. SeaFlowTM. UK. USA. <http://www. Hammerfest Strøm AS. Robert Gordon University. Neo-Aerodynamic Ltd. Australia Energy . Swanturbines Ltd. China 17. Clean Current Power Systems Inc. ScotrenewablesTM. TidelTM. VIVACETM.. Hydro Venturi Ltd. Pulse GeneratorTM. EvopodTM. 69. Pole Mer BretagneTM. Free FlowTM. FL. University of Southampton. WPI Turbine. EnCurrentTM. Overberg Ltd. Pole Mer Bretagne. Canada. 70. Neptune Renewable initiatives clearly indicate a rejuvenated interest in the domain Energy. TransverpelloTM Germany 7. 55. 66. Bourne Energy Pvt. NL. University College London. Open Hydro TurbineTM.  In addition to the specific focus on river or tidal current conver. Japan 40. Center of Research in Electrical 64. 48. 32. Department of Mech. Norway. artificial channels.. References 22. 71.CEPEL. January 2007–2008. Underwater Electric Kite. List of surveyed technologies (in alphabetic order) 57. Neo-Aerodynamic converterTM. UK acknowledged.UK that hydrokinetic energy technologies are emerging as a viable 47. Germany 61. Gentec VenturiTM.. BC. Eng.Amazon demonstrations. Russian cross flow turbine Russian cross flow turbine upon before realizing true commercial success in this sector. Canada 18. 26. Canada. QinetiQ Ltd. UK. Inha University. Canada the major observations made in this work may still appear useful 44. Tyson TurbineTM.. UK of hydrokinetic energy conversion. Rutten Company. Hydro Green Energy. Argentina 10. TX. RiverStarTM. USA  Recent technological advancement and project-development 38. Marine Current Turbines Ltd. Pulse Generation Ltd. TX. Thropton TurbineTM. strong emphasis is given to technologies that may serve 27. Tidal Hydraulic Generators Ltd. Wild Water Power. Greenheat Systems Limited. Ampair. 20. Tidal FenceTM. Italy.. GCK Technology Inc. 25. and mar. Kinetic Energy Systems Corpora- both of these areas as well as other potential resources (such tion. USA tions emerge. SeasnailTM. To conclude this discussion. The Engineering Business (EB). man-made canals. Oceanflow Energy.. Memorial Univ. UK. 24. UK presented in this work may need to be re-evaluated. Dhaka.. SMD Hydrovision. UK 12. Hydro VenturiTM. US. UNAM Engineering Institute. Ponte di Archimede S. of Newfoundland.T. sion.. HammerfestTM. US. LLC. [1] International Energy Agency: Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Austria. considerations for duct 31. Tidal Turbine Lunar Energy Limited. 75. UK 58. Verdant Power LLC. EXIMTM.  While both axial and vertical axis turbines are being developed 30.  Various options for turbine placement with respect to a channel 33. 2. However. Griffith University. 74. Wanxiang Vertical Turbine Harbin Engineering University 16. Hydrokinetic GeneratorTM. Com- ing or near-surface mounting arrangements. Norway 19. axial turbines are 35. Marlec Engineering.iea-oceans. and industrial 28. UK 53. Coastal Hydropower Corporation. _fich/6/IEA-OES_Annual_Report_2007.J. nel. Cross Flow TurbinesTM. 21. OPT Ocean Power Technologies Inc. Rua Lúcio de Azevedo. OptimsetTM.

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