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Zero Head Hydro Turbine (India)

An Indian entrepreneut from Assam (India) has developed the Zero-head water turbine which generates electric energy from moving water and simultaneously pumps the water for irrigation or other like purposes.

He has designed two variants of turbine and pump models. Initially he had developed a water turbine using bamboo for harnessing the flow energy from the river to pump water to his land way back in 1998-99. And later with the assistance from GIAN-NE, a voluntary organization working in the field of development of grass root innovations, he has developed another version of the same turbine.

First model

The first model had a spiral offset arrangement of blades. In this the blade axis is perpendicular to flow direction. The offset arrangement of blades provides constant thrust to the system. In conventional water wheels, thrust is available only once when blade is perpendicular to the flow direction. In the present arrangement it is similar to multi cylinder crank arrangement in which the turbine will get thrust constantly from blades. The offset arrangement also provides sufficient clearance between blades so that floating debris will not clog the blades. Since the path of the water takes spiral shape from entrance to the exit, the arrangement of blades acts as screw conveyor. This facilitates the debris to pass on from entrance to exit, which facilitates smooth running of the turbine. The arrangement of the baffle operated pump, which acts as a submersible pump facilitates the lifting of water. The cost of the complete system is only about Rs.3, 000 including labour cost which is quite affordable by small farmers.

Second model

The second one is an improved model in comparison with his first innovation. In this, blades are arranged spirally and the axis of the turbine is parallel to the flow direction. This arrangement is superior in construction and operation.
The spiral twist of the blades in addition to tapping energy from water provides vortex motion to the water at the exit. This feature is found to be novel as kinetic energy of the water absorbed by the blades is regained by water due to vortex motion. (By creating vortex in the direction of the flow, resistance will decrease i.e. water velocity will increase). In most of the existing turbines turbulence created by the wheel rotation affects the velocity considerably. This parameter is of importance when considering performance of down stream turbines.

For more information, contact:

National Innovation Foundation, India
PO Box 15051, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad 380 015, Gujarat
Telephone: +91-79-2673 2456/2095
Fax: +91-79-2673 1903
Toll Free No.: 1800 233 5555

Sector: Renewable Energy Technologies
Country: India
Area of Application: Areas where electric power supply is not available
Keywords: Hydro turbine, Zero head hydro turbine
1.Novelty lies in its portability and the fact that there is no need for a dam.

2.Economically it is a better bet as construction and installation cost is minimal Rs.8000, as compared to hydro-electric, steam or any other power plant where even a micro hydel generator costs at least Rs.40,000.

3. The maintenance cost is also quite low compared to the conventional hydroelectric power plant.

4. Its efficiency is greater than 50%. It can be set up anywhere be it plains or mountains.

5. The turbine has a very high potential in rural areas where electric power supply is not available
Environmental aspects: Energy efficiency
Development Status: Commercial Prototype
Legal Protection: Patent
Technical specifications:
Transfer Terms: Consultancy
Target Countries:
Estimated cost (US$):
Your Contact Details:
Contact Person: UN-ESCAP/APCTT
Address: C-2 Qutab Institutional Area
City: New Delhi
Country: India
Zip/Pin Code:

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