Optimal Design of Guide Vane for Improving Mini Hydro Power Plant Efficiency by using Twin Axis Vertical Turbine

Kanisorn Tom Thanatwutthigorn, Ratchaphon Suntivarakorn


This research aimed to increase the efficiency of a pico-hydropower plant with Banki type turbines by installing a guide vane system as the inlet water control. It was observed that the inlet angle of attack and the number of turbine blades had affected the efficiency of the pico-hydropower plant. Moreover, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was conducted for validation by creating a guide vane with inlet angles of 5 to 30 degrees and a turbine with 15–40 blades. The turbulent model in the SOLIDWORKS Simulation was selected as the fluid dynamic model. The simulation results statistically showed that the inlet angle of attack had a greater influence on the torque than the number of blades, with P-values of 1.1893x10-7 and 0.3915, respectively. The efficiency investigation using a 25-blade turbine with inlet angles of attack of 5, 10, 15, 20, 24, and 30 degrees, showed that the turbine with the 24-degree inlet angle of attack had exhibited the highest system efficiency at 45.83%. This research focused on vertical axis Banki turbine, which has been designed for electrical generation in irrigational canal only. In the practical demonstration, a 3-kW electrical generator system was installed across the canal, and the system efficiency was also investigated. The results showed that the maximum system efficiency was at 48% with a 0.7 m system head and a flow rate of 0.4 m3/s. This represents results which were higher than predicted from the simulation at 45.83% and a greater performance than that of the generating system without a guide vane at 34.96%.


Guide vane; Hydropower; Low head; Turbine; Twin turbine

Full Text:



Elbatran A.H., Yaakob O.B., Ahmed, Yasser M., and Shabara H.M., 2015. Operation, performance and economic analysis of low head micro-hydropower turbines for rural and remote areas: a review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (43): 40–50.

Williamson S.J., Stark B.H., and Booker J.D., 2014. Low head pico hydro turbine selection using a multi-criteria analysis. Renewable Energy 61: 43–50. doi: 10.1016/j.renene.2012.06.020.

Mockmore C.A. and F. Merryfield. 1949. The Banki water turbine. In: Bulletin Series, Engineering Experiment Station; Oregon State System of Higher Education. Oregon State College, Corvallis, OR, USA.

Barelli L., Liucci L., Ottaviano A., and Valigi D. 2013. Mini-hydro: a design approach in case of torrential rivers. Energy: 1–12.

Johnson W., Ely R., and White F., 1982. Design and testing of an inexpensive cross-flow turbine. In Proceedings of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) annual symposium on small hydropower fluid machinery, New York, USA.

Durgin W.W. and W.K. Fay. 1984. Some Fluid Flow Characteristics of a Crossflow Type Hydraulic Turbine. In Proceedings of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Winter Annual Meeting on small hydropower fluid machinery, New Orleans, USA.

Khosrowpanah S., Fiuzat A., and Albertson M., 1988. Experimental study of the crossflow turbine. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 114(3): 299-314.

Jesus D.N., Christian C., Flank K., Orlando A., Auristela V., and Miguel A., 2011. Numerical investigation of the internal flow in a Banki Turbine. International Journal of Rotating Machinery (2011) article ID 841214: 12 pages.

Chiyembekezo S.K., Cuthbert Z.K. and Torbjorn K.N., 2014. Experimental study on a simplified crossflow turbine. International Journal of Energy and Environment. 5(2): 155-182.

Desai V.R. and N.M. Aziz. 1994. Parametric evaluation of cross-flow turbine performance. Journal of Energy Engineering 120(1): 17-34.

Choi Y.D., Kim C.G., and Lee Y.H., 2009. Effect of wave conditions on the performance and internal flow of a direct drive turbine. Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 23(6):1693–1701.

Prasad D.D., Ahmed M.R., and Young H.L., 2014. Flow and performance characteristics of a direct drive turbine for wave power generation. Ocean Engineering (81): 39–49.

Kim B.H., Joji W., Mohammed A.Z., Ahmed M.R. and Young H.L., 2015. Numerical and experimental studies on the PTO system of a novel floating wave energy converter. Renewable Energy (79): 111–121.

Du J., Shen Z., and Yang H., 2018. Effects of different block designs on the performance of inline cross-flow turbines in urban water mains. Applied Energy 228: 97–107.

Quaranta E., Bahreini A., Riasi A., and Revelli R., 2022. The very low head turbine for hydropower generation in existing hydraulic infrastructures: State of the art and future challenges. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments (51): 101924.

Elbatran A.H., Yaakob O.B., Yasser M.A., and Ahmed S.S., 2018. Numerical and experimental investigations on efficient design and performance of hydrokinetic Banki cross-flow turbine for rural areas. Ocean Engineering (159): 437–456.

Du J., Shen Z., and Yang H. 2018. Numerical study on the impact of runner inlet arc angle on the performance of inline cross-flow turbine used in urban water mains. Energy (158): 228-37.

Thanutwutthikorn K. and R. Suntivarakorn. 2017. Comparison of the system efficiency of the mini-hydro power plant by using the cross-flow twin turbine and single turbine. In 4th Conference on Farm Engineering and Automation Technology. 24-25 November. Khon Kaen. Thailand.

JAG Seabell Co., Ltd. 2021, May 18. Research and Development. Run-of-river ultra-low head micro-hydro turbine system comprised of vertical dual axes cross-flow turbine and guide vanes to control water quantity. Patent No. 4817471.

Sammartano V., Aricò C., Carravetta A., Fecarotta O., and Tucciarelli T., 2013. Banki-Michell optimal design by computational fluid dynamics testing and hydrodynamic analysis. Energies (6): 2362-2385.

Jiyun D., Yang H., Shen Z., and Jian C., 2017. Micro hydropower generation from water supply system in high rise buildings using the pump as turbines. Energy (137): 431-40.

Coroneo M., Montante G., Paglianti A., and Magelli F., 2011. CFD prediction of fluid flow and mixing in stirred tanks: numerical issues about the RANS simulations. Computers & Chemical Engineering 35(10): 1959-68.

Efthimiou G.C., Andronopoulos S., Bartzis JG., Berbekar E., Leitl B., and Harms F., 2016. CFD-RANS prediction of individual exposure from continuous release of hazardous airborne materials in complex urban environments. Journal of Turbulence (13): 1-23.

Arora B.B., Sourajit B., Vishesh K., Khan M.N., and Iskander T., (2019). Aerodynamic effect of bicycle wheel cladding - A CFD study. Energy Reports 5:1626-37.

Gourdain N., 2015. Prediction of the unsteady turbulent flow in an axial compressor stage. Part 1: comparison of unsteady RANS and LES with experiments. Computers and Fluids (106): 119-29.

Adhikari R., 2016. Design improvement of crossflow hydro turbine. Doctoral thesis, Electronic Theses, and Dissertations, Graduate Studies, University of Calgary.

Lam C.K.G. and K.A. Bremhorst. 1981. Modified form of model for predicting wall turbulence. ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering (103): 456-460.

Fiuzat A.A. and B.P. Akerkar. 1991. Power outputs of two stages of cross-flow turbine. Journal of Energy Engineering 2(117): 57–70.

Venkappayya R.D., and M.A. Nadim. 1994. An experimental investigation of cross-flow turbine efficiency. Journal of Fluids Engineering 3(116): 545–550.

Nakase Y., Fukutomi J., Watanabe T., Suetsugu T., Kubota T., and Kushimoto S., 1982. A study of cross-flow turbine: effects of nozzle shape on its performance. In Proceedings of the ASME Conference on Small Hydro Power Fluid Machinery, Phoenix, Arizona, USA: 13–18.

Shepherd D.G., 1956. Principles of Turbomachinery, Macmillan, New York, NY, USA, 1956.