Turbines that can handle sand

Turbines that get abraded and worn out by sand particles are a big problem at hydropower stations. Researchers at NTNU’s Hydropower Laboratory have now designed a turbine that is particularly resistant to this kind of wear. The impeller is screwed together instead of being welded, which prevents tensions and differences from occurring when the steel warms up during use.

Additionally, the turbine’s surface is coated with tungsten carbide, which makes it more durable in contact with sand.

The turbine has been tested on a large scale in Peru, at a hydropower station that has major sand problems. The new turbine proved to be superior to normal turbines both in terms of its efficiency and resistance to wear. NTNU will now commercialize the new turbine via the turbine manufacturer Dynavec.