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Axial cyclone – rotating water flow protects power stations

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In order to increase the energy required to drive the turbines, the water in the pressure pipes of a storage power station drops down over hundreds of meters. Even small dirt particles in the water can dramatically increase wear on the turbine. Normally, the water in the storage plant is first allowed to flow through a sedimentation zone in which stones and sediments settle. However, smaller particles with a diameter of less than 0.2 mm usually remain in the water and can subsequently damage the turbine. This causes high repair costs and lowers the power of the power stations.

At the Vienna University of Technology, a specially shaped tube, the so-called “axial cyclone”, has been developed, which rotates the water stream. As a result of the centrifugal force then occurring, particles of higher density are pushed outwards and can be deposited there.

The flow behavior was, on the one hand, simulated on the computer and, on the other hand, measured in a laboratory test tube. With this innovation, the service life of hydroelectric turbines can be significantly increased. Since hydropower plays an important role in renewable energy generation in Austria, the realization and application of this technology can lead to more cost-effective, sustainable use of hydropower.

Further Information LINK


TU Wien
Vienna, Austria

TU Wien

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