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  • 2019BarkerMScResearch

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Innovation to increase the head for hydropower applications

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

  • Neil Barker
Publication date12/12/2019
Number of pages194
QualificationMasters by Research
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This project investigated the potential power output using a Ram pump to artificially increase the pressure of water entering a turbine. Ocean Current Power Limited had a Patent detailing how this Ram pump power generator was constructed. The Centre for Global Innovation along with the European Union Development Fund commissioned for this Patent to be researched.

MATLAB computational software was used to build a simple model using the governing fluid equations. With a static head of 10m and an average fluid velocity of 1 ms-1 this managed to produce 150 kW of power. A more complicated 3D system model was produced and with the aid of ANSYS, a computational fluid dynamics program, a second mathematical model was
completed. Using the same variables as the first model, 82 kW of power was generated. Finally, a third model was produced using a Kaplan bulb turbine the most recent state of the art turbines used in low head situations. This model was completed to confirm whether the Ram pump power generator was a viable option. Using the same variables and volumetric flow rates, the Kaplan bulb generated 330 kW of power. The Ram pump power generation system
has the ability to generate power; however, turbines currently available on the market offer a greater power output for similar volumetric flow rates as they are more efficient.