Development of the classical free water vortex for the purpose of water extraction

Profile of student to be appointed

Essential qualifications/Skills

Applicant must, as a minimum, hold

  • Honours Bachelor Degree at 2.2 or better in Civil Engineering, or cognate area

Desirable Qualifications/Skills

Experience in one of the following:

  • Experience of conducting research in hydroelectricity
  • Degree at 2.2 or better in a Hydrology related subject

It will be of likely advantage to an applicant if they:

  • Have laboratory experience in hydraulic testing
  • Have an understanding of free water vortex hydroelectric plants
  • Have an understanding of traditional hydroelectric plants
  • Have experience of presenting work to peers within construction industry
  • Have experience of working within the private/public  sector of the construction industry
  • Have an ability to use AutoCAD to produce technical drawings
  • Experience of using hydraulic software packages

Description of the project

The above titled project will take an innovative approach to a novel form of technology in the industry of hydropower. When low to medium flows from a river system can be extracted with only very low gross heads, a hydraulic structure called a rotation tank can artificially induce a free water vortex when located correctly at the river bank. In this process the available head is completely converted into large kinematic energy at the vortex origin giving the ability to extract energy with a vertical axis turbine system.

The technology has a perceived potential within the renewable energy industry. However, due to the inferior understanding in terms of design and engineering, an optimisation process is required to allow a developer to conduct a feasibility study, initiate a design process and project an accurate economic return. The primary aim of the project would be to move this new potential form of hydroelectric generation from its undeveloped stage to a designable product within the construction industry.

The research shall be divided into two stages. Firstly, experimentation and laboratory testing will be required to optimise the parameters of the rotation tank. This optimisation will include the construction of various scaled rotation tanks, optimising the turbine by means of varying the diameter and shape, examining various water surface profiles and conducting detailed analysis on the tangential and radial velocity profiles within the tank. The second phase of the project will entail field analysis and project development and management. Issues to be resolved will include investigating planning procedures, considering the environmental impact of the plant, investigating cost effective materials for the plant and identifying 5-10 candidate sites.

Work beyond the current project may involve seeking funding from bodies such as Sustainable Energy Ireland or Enterprise Ireland to construct a prototype plant at a previously selected location, with transfer to a doctorate research program being a possibility.

For further information please contact:

2019/20 Fulltime Prospectus IT Sligo