Experimental and numerical study of Dethridge wheel

Shakun Paudel, Nicole Saenger

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Dethridge wheel is primarily used for measuring flow in the farm outlets within the irrigation canals in many parts of the world, most commonly in the irrigation systems of Australia and India. The wheel has a big hub with v-shaped blades mounted around the circumference of the wheel. Working in a similar principle to the conventional waterwheels, this wheel could be a viable option of power generation for decentralized application in remote areas. The potential of Dethridge wheel for electricity generation is experimentally and numerically investigated.

A physical model of Dethridge wheel is tested at the hydraulic laboratory of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. A 3D model representing the laboratory physical model is numerically studied in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software Flow-3D. Flow-3D uses the finite-volume method to solve the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stoke's (RANS) equations over the computational domain. The Moving objects model (GMO) is used to simulate the wheel-fluid interaction in 3D environment.

Results show that Dethridge wheel is an economically viable simple and robust alternative for picoscale hydropower generation for use in remote areas. In the laboratory model tests, efficiency of upto 60% is achieved. The results from the physical model test are compared with the numerical model results and are presented in this paper. Computed results are in good agreement with the experimental results. Flow-3D also proves to be a powerful tool to capture the complex hydrodynamics involved in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International Symposium on Energy Challenges and Mechanics : Towards a Big Picture - University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 20159 Jul 2017
https://www.nscj.co.uk/ecm3/index.html (Conference website.)


Conference3rd International Symposium on Energy Challenges and Mechanics
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Hydropower
  • Dethridge wheel
  • CFD
  • Efficiency


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