In a fairly radical departure from the principles that normally govern hydroelectric power generation, Austrian engineer Franz Zotlöterer has constructed a low-head power plant that makes use of the kinetic energy inherent in an artificially induced vortex. The water’s vortex energy is collected by a slow moving, large-surface water wheel, making the power station transparent to fish – there are no large pressure differences built up, as happens in normal turbines.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: blog.hasslberger.com
>” […] The aspect of the power plant reminds a bit of an upside-down snail – through a large, straight inlet the water enters tangentially into a round basin, forming a powerful vortex, which finds its outlet at the center bottom of the shallow basin. The turbine does not work on pressure differential but on the dynamic force of the vortex. Not only does this power plant produce a useful output of electricity, it also aerates the water in a gentle way. Indeed, the inventor was looking for an efficient way to aerate the water of a small stream as he hit upon this smart idea of a plant that not only gives air to the medium but also takes from it some of the kinetic energy that is always inherent in a stream.
[…] Zotlöterer’s results are quite respectable. The cost of construction for his plant was half that of a conventional hydroelectric installation of similar yield and the environmental impact is positive, instead of negative.
The diameter of the vortex basin is 5 meters.
The head – difference between the two water levels – is 1,6 meters.
The turbine produced 50.000 kWh in its first year of operation.
Construction cost was 57.000 Euro […] “<