Estimating Energy Efficient Design Parameters for Trash Racks at Low Head Hydropower Stations

Muhammad Ahsan Latif, Muhammad Kaleem Sarwar, Rashid Farooq, Nadeem Shaukat, Shoaib Ali, Abrar Hashmi, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq

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    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2609
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    JournalWater (Switzerland)
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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