Underwater power generator based on gravity vortex siphon boost energy transition

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 4, 1080374
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d8.0374
Manuel Ayala-Chauvin1 , Holger Benavides2, Genís Riba3, Elena Blanco3
1 Facultad de Ingeniería y Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación (FITIC). Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica. Ambato, Ecuador
2 Departamento de Geología y Minas e Ingeniería Civil, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Barrio San Cayetano Alto, calle Marcelino Champagnat s/n, Loja, Ecuador
3 Centro de Diseño de Equipos Industriales, Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Llorens Artigas, 4, planta 0, edificio U, Barcelona, España


The need for an energy transition is nowadays undeniable. Climate change, fossil fuel depletion and economic vulnerability are some of the main drivers of the model change. Therefore, it is necessary to promote local energy generation in order to improve a renewable energy transition. This paper presents the design, installation and performance of an Underwater Turbine Generator prototype with a gravitational vortex and siphon. The development of the prototype was done in five stages: contextualization, specifications, conceptualization, detail design and manufacturing. The result of this research is an appropriate, compact and low-cost prototype with a power range of 2 to 10 kW and head of 0.8 to 3 m. According to field measurements, the efficiency of a 7.5 kW generator for heads differences larger than 0.8 m is 37%. This type of design can be reproduced in another context in order to promote the decentralized generation and sustainable growth between the territory and its resources.

Keywords: Underwater turbine, Vortex generation, Energy transition.

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