Estimating energy efficient design parameters for trash racks at low head hydropower stations

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Latif, Muhammad Ashan ORCID: 0000-0003-4531-5498, Sarwar, Muhammad Kaleem, Farooq, Rashid ORCID: 0000-0002-4763-7645, Shaukat, Nadeem ORCID: 0000-0002-4655-0476, Ali, Shoaib ORCID: 0000-0002-6377-6610, Hashmi, Abrar ORCID: 0000-0002-8683-7965 and Tariq, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman ORCID: 0000-0002-0226-7310 (2022) Estimating energy efficient design parameters for trash racks at low head hydropower stations. Water (Switzerland), 14 (17). ISSN 2073-4441


Trash racks are usually composed of an array of bars installed in a hydropower scheme to safeguard the turbines by collecting water-borne detritus. However, current design approaches for the design of trash racks focus on structural criteria. A little attention renders the proper evaluation of hydraulic criteria, which causes a significant hydraulic head loss in low head hydropower schemes with an integral intake. This study investigates the head loss through trash racks by employing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for several design combinations. A three-dimensional model of trash racks using fractional area/volume obstacle representation (FAVOR) method in FLOW-3D is set up to define the effects of the meshing on the geometry and several simulations are carried out considering various approach velocities and different bar spacings, inclination angles, and blockage ratios. The results indicate that head loss increases with an increase in approach velocity, the inclination angle of the rack with channel bed, and blockage ratio. It is noticed that a clear spacing between vertical bars greater than or equal to 0.075 m has a minimum head loss before it becomes significantly high for lower spacing. In addition, the head loss coefficient increases for screen angles greater than 60°, which can be considered as an optimal parameter for design purpose.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/w14172609
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords energy efficiency, trash racks, hydropower stations, hydraulic head loss
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