Impeller optimization in crossflow hydraulic turbines

Tullio Tucciarelli, Marco Sinagra, Antonio Pantano, Costanza Arico', Calogero Picone, Marwa Hannachi, Marwa Hannachi, Marwa Hannachi, Marwa Hannachi, Zied Driss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Crossflow turbines represent a valuable choice for energy recovery in aqueducts, dueto their constructive simplicity and good efficiency under variable head jump conditions. Severalexperimental and numerical studies concerning the optimal design of crossflow hydraulic turbineshave already been proposed, but all of them assume that structural safety is fully compatible withthe sought after geometry. We show first, with reference to a specific study case, that the geometryof the most efficient impeller would lead shortly, using blades with a traditional circular profilemade with standard material, to their mechanical failure. A methodology for fully coupled fluiddynamic and mechanical optimization of the blade cross-section is then proposed. The methodologyassumes a linear variation of the curvature of the blade external surface, along with an iterative use oftwo-dimensional (2D) computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and 3D structural finite element method(FEM) simulations. The proposed methodology was applied to the design of a power recovery system(PRS) turbine already installed in an operating water transport network and was finally validatedwith a fully 3D CFD simulation coupled with a 3D FEM structural analysis of the entire impeller.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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