A novel vertical axis water turbine for power generation from water pipelines

J. Chen, Hongxing Yang, C. P. Liu, C. H. Lau, M. Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


In order to help water supply utilities improve water supply management, offer early warning and control water pipeline leakage, so as to provide clean water to residents, many instruments are installed to monitor hydraulic and water quality conditions along the water pipelines. However, one of the challenges of such tremendous monitor system is its limited power resources to make the smart sensors and sensor networks operate continuously and safely due to poor site conditions. In this paper, a novel vertical-axis water turbine has been developed for hydropower harness inside water pipelines when extra water head can be consumed. The small hydro power generated can be used for power supply to the data collection systems in underground and congested locations or to maintenance work at remote locations. The device was developed through CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) simulation and lab tests. The performance of the developed water turbines and the flow characteristics inside water pipes were simulated using the ANSYS CFD packages: FLUENT and Gambit. After the simulation, a number of prototypes were fabricated and tested to measure the real power output and verify the simulated results. The results indicate that the simulation outcomes can offer a good guidance for the rotor design even though the difference between the simulation and experimental results is fairly large. The results also show that the rotor with a hollow structure combined with an eye-shaped slanted block in a pipeline could generate the maximum power as compared with other types of vertical-axis rotors. Furthermore, the simulation and test results of different generation turbines offer valuable information for developing hydropower harness device in confined conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • CFD simulation and experimental test
  • Drag-type
  • Hydro power
  • Lift-type
  • Vertical axis water turbine
  • Water pipeline monitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel vertical axis water turbine for power generation from water pipelines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this