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Case Study: Site: New Mills, Derbyshire Turbine: Archimedes screw Power: 63kW Head: 3.

0m Western Renewable Energy (WRE) was brought in by MannPower Consulting (MPC) after the feasibility stage. WRE and MPC carried out detailed design, leading the WRE planning and carrying out the construction for the client. WRE also designed and installed the fish-pass element for the Environment Agency. WRE were first consulted in January 2007 about the engineering feasibility of the scheme, and despite a range of obstacles, a detailed plan and costing was developed. Major issues to be worked around included: the existence of a storm water outfall across the site, which needed to be integrated into the new works, but without affecting the discharge during construction. Archaeological issues which required an Archaeologist on site at all times during the excavations, and a large amount of detail to be recorded. Restricted site space in a rocky gorge. Very limited access, restricted to 7.5t on site, and no crane access. Large volume of spoil for removal, all requiring double-handling and off site disposal. Additionally the site was very public and in an attractive park area.

Work physically started in March, replacing the storm water discharge, which had to run through the intake area

After the diversion was complete, archaeological excavation by WRE, under the direction of staff from Archaeological Research Services continued for a month. The extensive remains on site were documented and artefacts retained, as part of the planning permission Once through the level of archaeology, another 3m of Gritstone bedrock was removed to provide the correct tailrace depth

The floor pour for the turbine and fish pass then occurred

The restricted access to site required all the walls to be cast in one day, when the pump, pipelines and manpower was available, and access could be arranged for the procession of concrete lorries, so all shuttering for the structure was set up to be carried out in one pour With concrete complete, the complicated phase, unique to the Torrs project was started. Because weight on site was limited to 7.5t, no crane could be brought it, and indeed the turbine itself exceeded this weight. Firstly wooden ramps were installed

The wooden ramp provided a continuous slope from ground level to the bottom of the slope. Because of tight space restrictions, the screw had to be brought in sideways and lowered onto the ramp With the main road through New Mills closed, and hundreds looking on, the screw was lowered into the gorge, to avoid the weight restrictions on the normal access route.

The turbine landed on a purpose built trolley, with steerable castors, which was rigidly coupled to two mini diggers to pull it into position at the top of the ramp

The turbine was crabbed out sideways, over the concrete channel and onto the temporary wooden structure. From here it was then suspended at one end to allow the removal of part of the trolley, and part of the wooden temporary structure

With the temporary wooden structure changed, the supported end was lowered until it was at 22 degrees, but at the top of the slope. From here electric winches under the wooden structure were gradually relaeased, allowing the turbine to slide into position on a carefully located central rail running down the slope. This positioned the turbine in the approximately correct position, and allowed completion of the concrete works

The top slab was then cast, and the turbine lowered onto it, after it had cured

While the concrete was going off, other jobs commenced, including craning excavators into the river to excavate the tailrace and adapt the river bed

The fish pass was installed at this point, to allow migration of fish past the weir for the first time in over two centuries

Transmission and generation equipment, as well as sluices and other ancillary equipment was then installed Finally the intake was excavated and the temporary storm outfall was removed, to leave the system looking much as the original artists impression had envisaged

The final step was the installation of the guarding and fencing, as the system is located in a public park. The system was commissioned and handed over in September 2008, and by the end of the year had generated almost 100,000 kWh.

a case study...
Archimedes screw: Copley Hydropower Generator
The Archimedes screw used for over 2000 years as a pump is now becoming a popular technology choice for low-head hydropower generators. Future Energy Yorkshire (FEY) has carried out a study on the relative costs of an Archimedes screw and the more common Kaplan turbine for a small scale hydropower site.








So in terms of capital cost ... the Archimedes' screw was 22% cheaper than the Kaplan turbine.


The Archimedes screw is well suited to low-head sites and is reportedly less harmful to fish. A few dozen are in operation in Germany and the first examples are now appearing in the UK. However, low-head hydropower is developing very slowly in the UK despite there being thousands of potential sites at river weirs across the country. It is often hard to justify the capital expenditure of installing a modern hydropower scheme on such sites given the relatively low revenue from electricity sales, so this study compared the capital costs of the two systems for a specific low-head hydro site.
Description of Project


The two scheme designs did not arrive at exactly the same annual energy output, but nevertheless the study showed a strong cost advantage for the Archimedes screw. For an energy output of about 15% more, the Archimedes screw cost about 10% less. So in terms of capital cost in per MWh per year, the Archimedes screw was 22% cheaper than the Kaplan turbine. The results are summarised in the table below.
Kaplan turbine Annual energy output Installed capacity Capital cost Capital cost (per MWh/yr) Return on investment (IRR, 20yrs) 390 MWh 95 kW 414000 1061 5% Archimedes screw 448 MWh 124 kW 371000 828 9%

FEY commissioned a study to compare the costs of installing a Kaplan turbine and an Archimedes screw at the potential (and former) hydro site at Sterne Mill in Copley, near Halifax. One hydropower consultant was asked to design a system using the Archimedes screw while a second consultant was asked to design a scheme with a similar annual energy output but using a Kaplan turbine. Each consultant was also asked to cost the equipment and its installation but excluding the civil engineering costs. The two designs were given to an independent civil engineering firm which calculated cost estimates for the civil works.

The study also demonstrated how much different assumptions can affect the civil engineering costs. If the spoil from the construction had to be landfilled, for example, this would add from 30% to 40% to the costs above for both schemes. The costs for a hydro scheme are highly site dependent so it cannot be assumed that the Archimedes screw will always be the cheaper option, but this study shows that for this site there is a significant cost advantage. A full report of the results of this study will be published by FEY. It is hoped that a hydro system will be installed as part of a major property development around the weir.

If you would like more information on the Archimedes screw project or how we can help your company please contact: Jo Adlard jo.adlard@fey.org.uk Direct line: 0113 237 8426

t 0113 237 8436 e email@fey.org.uk

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B R I E F S EX150



Archimedes Screw
A CFD simulation of an Archimedes screw is presented in this example. The VOF and sliding mesh models in FLUENT work together to capture the transient lifting of water from a lower to an upper reservoir by the rotating screw.

A 3D CFD model is used to simulate the operation of an Archimedes screw, a simple mechanical device invented by the Greek mathematician Archimedes (287-212 BC) for raising water (or other material). Used for irrigation in ancient times, it consists of a helical element, or screw, that rotates inside a closefitting cylinder. The axis of the device is inclined at some angle above the horizontal. One end is placed in a lower reservoir of water and as the screw turns, a small quantity of water is scooped up and trapped in a cavity between the screw and outer cylinder. As the rotation continues, this scoop is lifted and additional scoops are trapped and lifted as well. At the top of the device, the scoops of water are released into an upper reservoir. In modern pump classification, the Archimedes screw is a positive displacement (PD) pump. The geometry of an Archimedes screw is governed by certain external parameters (its outer radius, length, and slope) and certain internal parameters (its inner radius, number of blades, and the pitch of the blades). The external parameters are usually determined by the location of the
Copyright 2000 Fluent Inc.

lower reservoir and does not efficiently lift it. A simple, single-blade screw is modeled in this simulation. The screw is inclined from the horizontal at 45 degrees and is rotated at a constant speed of 4 rad/s (76 rpm). To simulate the motion of the screw, a rotating mesh zone of 105,000 tetrahedral cells (derived from the surface mesh shown in Figure 1) is used. A fine grid is used in this region so that sloshing of water may be captured in the CFD model. Outside the rotating zone is a stationary zone containing 70,000 hexahedral cells. This zone encompasses the upper and lower

Figure 1: The surface mesh for the rotating zone, composed of the screw and the cylindrical sliding mesh boundary

screw and how much material is to be lifted. The internal parameters, however, are free to be chosen to optimize the performance of the screw. The optimal parameters for maximizing the volume of water lifted in one turn of the screw are given in a paper by Rorres (2000). As more material is lifted by the screw, more effort is required to turn it; this puts a practical limit on how long (or wide) such a tube can be. Nagel (1968) observed that the rotational velocity of a screw, in revolutions per minute, should not be more than 50/D2/3 , where D is the diameter of the outer cylinder in meters. If the screw is rotated much faster, turbulence and sloshing prevent the cavities from being filled. The screw churns the water in the

Figure 2: At time zero, the fluid is at rest in the lower reservoir

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reservoirs. A non-conformal grid interface links the rotating and static zones. Initially (Figure 2), the lower reservoir contains a finite volume of water, and the upper reservoir is empty. At this time, the water is at rest. Figure 3 shows the screw in action raising water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. During this process, the water level in the lower reservoir decreases. After about 8 seconds (Figure 3a), the first scoop of water (a tiny amount, owing to the initial orientation of the screw) begins to emerge from the upper end of the screw. About two seconds later (Figure 3b), the second scoop of water begins to emerge. After another revolution of the screw (Figure 3c), the third scoop of water empties into the upper reservoir. (The details of the flow in the upper reservoir are not accurately captured by this model because a coarse grid is used in this region.) The equilibrium water volume is defined as the maximum volume of water that can be held in each chamber between the threads when the screw is stationary.

During the early stage of operation, when the water level in the lower reservoir is high, the screw scoops up more than the equilibrium water volume in each revolution. As the water is raised with each turn of the screw, the excess water cascades down to the next chamber. This cascading effect can be seen near the bottom of the screw in Figure 3. When the water level in the lower reservoir reaches a certain critical level, the efficiency of the screw begins to drop, because the screw scoops up less than the equilibrium volume with each revolution. The Archimedes screw is still in use today. The underlying principle of the device is applied in machines used for drainage, irrigation, oil well extraction, food processing, and in high-speed tools. It can also be applied for handling light, loose materials such as grain, sand, and ashes in machines known as screw conveyors, direct descendants of the Archimedes screw. While the Archimedes screw lifts fluids because of its inclined position, the screw conveyor propels granular materials through the

pushing action of its rotating blades. Most screw conveyers in use today have a single blade, while modern Archimedes screws typically have two or three blades. For screw conveyors or for the Archimedes screw itself, FLUENT is an excellent tool for simulating the mechanics of the process at work. The VOF and sliding mesh models working together can capture the essential physics of devices of this type. This is a powerful combination that can be applied to other free surface tracking applications that involve rotating parts. References: 1. Rorres, C. (2000), The turn of the screw: optimal design of an Archimedes Screw, ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 72-80, January, 2000. 2. Nagel, G. (1968), Archimedean screw pump handbook, Prepared for Ritz-Atro Pumpwerksb au GMBH Roding, Nurnberg, Germany.

Figure 3 : The lifting of water by the rotating screw is illustrated after 8 seconds (a), 10 seconds (b), and 13 seconds (c)

Copyright 2000 Fluent Inc.

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