Dethridge wheel for pico-scale hydropower generation: an experimental and numerical study

Shakun Paudel, Nicole Saenger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to assess the potential of the Dethridge wheel for developing power from very low head sites in open channel flow. The Dethridge wheel has been in use since early 20 th century for measuring flow in irrigation canals. Being robust and simple in design, this technology served as a reliable flow metering solution for more than a century. Working in a similar principle to the conventional waterwheel, this wheel could be a viable option of power generation for decentralized application in remote areas. Two different methods, experimental and numerical, are used for investigating the potential of the wheel. An experimental approach in which a physical model of the Dethridge wheel is built and tested at the hydraulics laboratory of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Whereas a three dimensional numerical model of the Dethridge wheel is simulated using a commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code Flow-3D. Efficiency of around 60% is achieved in the model tests. Computed results are also in good agreement with the physical model results. The results from the physical and the numerical model are presented in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102007
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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