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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5390360, 13 pages
Research Article

The Design Method of Axial Flow Runners Focusing on Axial Flow Velocity Uniformization and Its Application to an Ultra-Small Axial Flow Hydraulic Turbine

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ibaraki University, 4-12-1 Nakanarusawa-cho, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki 316-8511, Japan
2Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University, 4-12-1 Nakanarusawa-cho, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki 316-8511, Japan
3Ibasei, Ltd., 4-7-10 Kamine-cho, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki 317-0064, Japan

Received 28 June 2016; Revised 21 October 2016; Accepted 3 November 2016

Academic Editor: Jechin Han

Copyright © 2016 Yasuyuki Nishi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We proposed a portable and ultra-small axial flow hydraulic turbine that can generate electric power comparatively easily using the low head of open channels such as existing pipe conduits or small rivers. In addition, we proposed a simple design method for axial flow runners in combination with the conventional one-dimensional design method and the design method of axial flow velocity uniformization, with the support of three-dimensional flow analysis. Applying our design method to the runner of an ultra-small axial flow hydraulic turbine, the performance and internal flow of the designed runner were investigated using CFD analysis and experiment (performance test and PIV measurement). As a result, the runners designed with our design method were significantly improved in turbine efficiency compared to the original runner. Specifically, in the experiment, a new design of the runner achieved a turbine efficiency of 0.768. This reason was that the axial component of absolute velocity of the new design of the runner was relatively uniform at the runner outlet in comparison with that of the original runner, and as a result, the negative rotational flow was improved. Thus, the validity of our design method has been verified.