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Micro hydro turbine calculations

  1. Apr 25, 2014 #1

    I'v been looking into this for way too long and have come to that point where nothing makes sense, hoping you guys could help me out! :smile:

    Basically i have been given a net head of 20m and need to provide a micro hydro turbine with 5kW of power for over one minute. What i want to find out is what gross head i would need to produce this and the diameter of the pipe to supply it.

    I'v selected a pipe diameter of 193.67mm schedule 80 PVC for now, and these are the calculations i made:

    Flow rate = 5000/0.8x1000x9.81x20 = 0.032m3/s at 80% efficiency(turbine)

    Velocity = Flow rate/0.25∏x0.19^2 = 1.12 m/s

    From Bernoulli's equation i have this:

    sqrt(2xgx20)= 19.81 m/s is what i get for velocity

    Could someone be kind enough to explain the differences in these results?


    How would i work out the pipe diameter if the one i have written is incorrect? The reason i selected this size was because it would have less friction resulting in a reduced gross head length. Id have to work out the friction losses to find the gross head, this is what i did... not sure its the right way... again

    I calculated the friction factor to be 0.04

    Gross head - 0.04x20x1.12^2 / 0.19x2x9.81 = 20

    Gross head = 20 + 0.27

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :smile:

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2014 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The difference is because your pipe diameter is bigger than you need to generate 5kW.

    You could find the "correct" diameter (ignoring friction) by solving
    Flow rate/0.25∏ x D^2 = 19.81 m/s
    for D.

    This is assuming that your turbine can extract all the kinetic energy (OK, 80% of it) from the water at that flow rate and velocity.
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