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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2017, Article ID 2610508, 11 pages
Research Article

Performance and Flow Field of a Gravitation Vortex Type Water Turbine

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ibaraki University, 4-12-1 Nakanarusawa-cho, Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki 316-8511, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Yasuyuki Nishi;

Received 28 November 2016; Revised 15 February 2017; Accepted 5 March 2017; Published 16 March 2017

Academic Editor: Ryoichi Samuel Amano

Copyright © 2017 Yasuyuki Nishi and Terumi Inagaki. 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.


A gravitation vortex type water turbine, which mainly comprises a runner and a tank, generates electricity by introducing a flow of water into the tank and using the gravitation vortex generated when the water drains from the bottom of the tank. This water turbine is capable of generating electricity using a low head and a low flow rate with relatively simple structure. However, because its flow field has a free surface, this water turbine is extremely complicated, and thus its relevance to performance for the generation of electricity has not been clarified. This study aims to clarify the performance and flow field of a gravitation vortex type water turbine. We conducted experiments and numerical analysis, taking the free surface into consideration. As a result, the experimental and computational values of the torque, turbine output, turbine efficiency, and effective head agreed with one another. The performance of this water turbine can be predicted by this analysis. It has been shown that when the rotational speed increases at the runner inlet, the forward flow area expands. However, when the air area decreases, the backward flow area also expands.