Design and optimization of a propeller type micro-hydro turbine using computational fluid dynamics

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Thesis Adviser

Alexander P. Paran

Defense Panel Member

Jose Bienvenido Manuel M. Biona
Godofredo Salazar


The Philippines has good potential for small scale hydro power system. These system are called micro hydro with capacity ranging from 1 KW to 100 KW. There are already proven micro hydro turbine design that can be used for this system such as the SKAT T12 or the CeMTRE cross flow turbine. However, some of the potential sites have low head and the cross flow turbine becomes inefficient for this application. Therefore, a low head micro hydro turbine is necessary for low head application. The paper presents design and optimization of a low head micro hydro turbine using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. The design of the turbine is based on the propeller type reaction turbine. The propeller turbine has the larges specific speed among popular turbine type such as pelton turbine and francis turbine. Because of this characteristic, the propeller turbine is suitable for low head application. However, modification in the design is needed in order to adopt the turbine for micro hydro application. Modifications will allow low cost and easy manufacturing but this will decrease the performance of the turbine. Therefore, the efficiency of a simplified propeller type micro hydro turbine is improved using computational fluid dynamics or CFD through optimization methods. The final design that resulted form the optimization was fabricated locally and tested. The CFD results show a maximum efficiency of 80% and the actual test resulted in an efficiency of 70% which was expected since the CFD simulation was set for ideal conditions. As compared to commercially available propeller turbine that are expensive, the prototype turbine is better in terms of performance since most commercially available propeller turbine have efficiency not higher than 60%. Furthermore, the cost to fabricate the prototype turbine for actual installation is cheaper than importing a commercial turbine.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

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