Friday, December 11, 2009

Building Hydro Turbine Prototypes

This semester, two of my students, Teresa and Sean, have been designing a type of hydro turbine called a Crossflow turbine. This is the type of turbine we plan to use first in Honduras because they are best for "low head" systems, or systems with relatively small vertical drop.

Here Ryan is helping out by grinding some of the welds smooth. It's cool because it makes lots of sparks. But it's not as cool as melting steel with faya! Flame-on, baby!

We are welding with an old technology, an oxy-acetylene torch, because we want to test the manufacturability of building these things in Honduras, where more modern (and expensive) welding methods are less available. Our conclusion: it works swellish.

This unit will have 18 blades in total, but we're saving some for Teresa and Sean to weld next week. We can't let Ryan have all the fun.

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