A new, more efficient waterwheel design for very-low-head hydropower schemes

David Ross Carruthers, Penelope Carruthers, Rebecca Wade

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    5815 Downloads (Pure)


    Very-low-head hydropower constitutes a large untapped renewable energy source, estimated at 1 GW in the UK alone. A new type of low-impact waterwheel has been developed and tested at Abertay University in Scotland to improve the economic viability of such schemes. For example, on a 2·5 m high weir in the UK with 5 m3/s mean flow, one waterwheel could produce an annual investment return of 7·5% for over 100 years. This paper describes the evolution of the design and reports on scale-model tests. These show that the new design harnesses significant potential and kinetic energy to generate power and handles over four times as much water per metre width compared to traditional designs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-134
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering
    Issue number3
    Early online date6 Apr 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


    • Hydraulics & hydrodynamics
    • Renewable energy
    • Waterways & canals


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