ELTR 1223
Survey of Renewable
Energy Technology
R.E. Generators:
Hydropower Prime Movers
and Others
Unit 9a
Use Policy
This material was developed by Timothy J.
Wilhelm, P.E., Kankakee Community College,
with funding from the National Science
Foundation as part of ATE Grant No. 0802786.
All materials in this presentation are designed
and intended for educational use, only. They
may not be used for any publication or
commercial purposes.
Author, Editors/Reviewers
Author: Timothy J. Wilhelm, P.E., Kankakee
Community College
 Editors/Reviewers / Modifiers:
 Chris Miller Heartland Community College
Students will be able to describe, in very simple
terms, the so-called hydrologic cycle, and its
relationship to hydropower technology.
 Students will be able to name a “kinetic” type of
water turbine, and briefly describe, in very simple
terms, how it operates.
 Students will be able to name a “water-head”
type of water turbine, and briefly describe, in
very simple terms, how it operates.
Students will be able to mathematically convert
feet of water head into pounds-per-square-inch
of pressure
 Students will be able to describe, in very simple
terms, at least one method of extracting energy
from the ocean.
Hydro Power History
Hydropower History
Hydropower used by the Greeks to turn water
wheels for grinding wheat into flour, more than
2,000 years ago.
Mid-1770s -- French hydraulic and military
engineer Bernard Forest de Bélidor wrote
Architecture Hydraulique, a four-volume work
describing vertical- and horizontal-axis machines.
Hydropower History
Source: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/lili/personen/fleischmann/d_archsuse05/210_constable_mill.jpg
Hydropower History
Hydropower History
Hydro Electric Beginnings
Hydroelectric Beginnings
1880 -- Michigan's Grand Rapids electricity (DC)
generated by a dynamo belted to a water turbine
at the Wolverine Chair Factory, lit up 16 Brusharc lamps.
Hydroelectric Beginnings
1881 -- Niagara Falls city street lamps powered
by a brushed dynamo connected to an old flour
mill drive.
Hydroelectric Beginnings
1882 -- Hydroelectric power plant operating on
the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Source: http://kids.americancorners.or.kr/ENG/images/05_history_07_10_01.jpg
The War of the Currents
The Wizard Who Spat on the Floor
Source: http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100410182815/uncyclopedia/images/thumb/c/ce/Edisonx2.jpg/150pxEdisonx2.jpg
The Eccentric Serb
Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/Teslathinker.jpg/220px-Teslathinker.jpg
Source: http://www.pbs.org/tesla/res/images/390414_b.gif
Source: http://www.b92.net/news/pics/2006/07/118552926044aa6e07b13ae812180880_200x235.jpg
“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”
The 1893 Columbian Exposition, World’s
Fair, Chicago
Source: http://www.acenor.cl/acenor/pag.gral/documentos/historia_electricidad_archivos/Chicago1.jpg
Niagara Falls – Nov. 16, 1896 –
Westinghouse and Tesla Send Electric Power
to Buffalo, NY
Hydro Power
Solar Energy + Force of Gravity =
Hydropower Fundamentals
Kinetic-type primer movers
“Water Wheels”
Extract energy from stream-flow
Head or Pressure-type Prime Movers
High (inlet) Elevation – Low (discharge) Elevation =
PSI(pressure) = Feet of Water (head) X 0.433
“A pint’s a pound the world around.”
1 Ft3 = 7.48 gallons; 1 gallon = 8.34 pounds
8.34 lbs/gal x 7.48 gal/ft3 x 1 ft2 / 144 in2 = 0.433
Hydropower Fundamentals
Hydro Prime Mover Types:
Head-type Turbines
Low-Head and High-Flow
“Reaction Turbines”
Kinetic turbines (water wheels, and other flow converters)
Propeller turbines
Francis turbines (like a squirrel-cage centrifugal turbine)
High-Head and Low-Flow
“Impulse Turbines”
Pelton Turbines
Cross-flow Turbines
Turbine Types and Applications
300 Meters
984 Feet
30 Meters
98 Feet
5 Meters
16 Feet
Hydro Prime Mover Types:
Source: http://hydropower.navajo.cz/hydropower-2.jpg
Low-Head Propeller
Low-Head = less
than 16 feet
Medium Head Francis Runner
High Head Pelton Turbine
Tesla Designed a Total System
Bladeless hydro-frictional turbine
 3-Phase alternator
 Distribution transformers
 Wireless transmission of electric power, to all
points on the earth
 World peace and harmony
Tesla’s Frictional Turbine
Source: http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/tesla-turbine-4.jpg
Creating Water Head:
Source: http://media.thesolarguide.com/i/illust_howworks.gif
Creating Water Head:
Source: http://gator787.hostgator.com/~reapmgmt/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/diversionhydro-280x213.jpg
Hydro Plant Sizes
Large Hydropower
 Although definitions vary, DOE defines large
hydropower as a capacity of more than 30 MW.
Small Hydropower
 Although definitions vary, DOE defines small
hydropower as a capacity of 100 KW to 30 MW.
Micro Hydropower
 A micro hydropower plant has a capacity of up to 100
kilowatts. A small or micro-hydroelectric power
system can produce enough electricity for a home,
farm, ranch, or small village.
Micro Hydro
need at least
3 feet of
head and 20
gpm of flow
Harris Micro-hydro
Source: http://www.firemountainsolar.com/pics/home_harrisCollageSM.jpg
Stream Engine Micro-hydro
Micro-hydro Installation
Head (feet) x Flow (gpm) / 10 = Watts
[For example, 30 gpm x 100 feet/ 10 = 300 watts]
Other Hydro-Related
Prime Movers
Ocean Energy
The tidal forces and thermal storage of the
ocean provide a major energy source
 Wave action adds to the extractable surface
 Major ocean currents (like the Gulf Stream) may
be exploited to extract energy with rotors
Source: http://www.yourgreendream.com/images/articles/wp_wave.jpg
Ocean Energy: Tidal Energy
Tides are produced by gravitational forces of the
moon and sun and the Earth’s rotation
 Existing and possible sites:
France: La Rance river estuary 240 MW station
England: Severn River
Canada: Passamaquoddy in the Bay of Fundy (1935
attempt failed)
California: high potential along the northern coast
Environmental, economic, and esthetic aspects
have delayed implementation
Barage Tidal Power
Tidal-Stream Generators
Source: http://www.metaefficient.com/wp-content/uploads/seagen_marine_current_turbine.jpg
Tidal-Stream Generators
Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/SeaGen_installed.jpg/200px-SeaGen_installed.jpg
Tidal-Stream Generators
Ocean Energy: Wave Energy
Salter “ducks” rock up and down as the wave
passes beneath it. This oscillating mechanical
energy is converted to electrical energy
A Wavegen, wave-driven, air compressor or
oscillating water column (OWC) spins a two-way
Wells turbine to produce electricity
Wave Power
Source: http://www.rise.org.au/info/Tech/wave/image002.gif
Ocean Energy: OTEC (Ocean Thermal
Electric Conversion)
OTEC requires some 40°F temperature difference
between the surface and deep waters to extract energy
Open-cycle plants vaporize warm water and condense
it using the cold sea water, yielding potable water and
electricity from turbines-driven alternators
Closed-cycle units evaporate ammonia at 78°F to
drive a turbine and an alternator
A Final, Related Prime Mover
Energy from the Earth’s Forces
Winds, waves, tides, and thermal gradients
are renewable energy sources that might be
valuable in some areas.

Hydropower - Heartland Community College