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Henry Cabra, Doctoral Student and Sylvia W. Thomas, PhD

Electrical Engineering Department, University of South Florida Presenting Author:

Abstract: This paper presents the design and simulation of an impulse micro-turbine using a modified cross-flow of the Michell Banki turbine model. An action or impulse micro-turbine, which can be integrated onto smaller devices, is presented. The power characteristics of the turbine were evaluated using macro models and hydrodynamic similarity laws in implemented designs [1]. Theoretical calculations show that the micro-turbine provides a high number of revolutions making them particularly valuable for energy transformation, for instance, in micro surgery tools that require reasonably high forces or high speed [2]. According to the calculation, and the simulation, it is reasonable to classify the turbine behavior as an action turbine, where the speed generated on the blades is produced by the transformation of kinetic energy to mechanical energy. In other words, the fluid pressure in motion moves the blades. The design has been optimized to reduce the friction between the rotor and the case in order to avoid the loss of rotational speed. To examine the flow behavior inside of the turbine, and to determine if all the conditions are given for the turbine to rotate, a succession of simulations using ANSYS FLUENT Flow Modeling Software were performed.

Keywords: micro-turbine, cross-flow turbine, Banki turbine, Euler‟s equation.


One of the most basic features of the cross-flow turbine is the simplicity of its construction. The turbine is based on concepts from both impulse and reaction turbine designs, but in general it uses impulse behavior. This feature allows adaptability and flexibility to a variety of liquid, places, applications and power needs. The simplicity in the design reduces cost and makes it very suitable for small power development.

An impulse micro-turbine can be implanted into physiological systems, such as the respiratory, urinary, and blood systems. Also, it can be integrated onto multiple applications, such as the delivery of medicines, energy generation (micro-generator systems), sensing or the control of particle and liquid filtration. Furthermore, there are medical conditions that require the replacement of some living parts, such as pumps and valves to regulate fluids in the human body.

Micro-turbines have been designed primarily adapting the concepts from actual jet turbines using common fuels and compression. In this scenario, this paper presents the design of a micro-turbine that can be a component used in a physiological system, where flux or motion and pressure are the principal parameters of the model. It also contributes to the academic and practical discussion about the development and harnessing of alternative energy sources for bio, micro, and nano technologies altogether.

Living organisms have numerous micro-systems, such as respiratory, urinary, and blood systems, that are potential spaces for research in areas such as micro- mechanic, biomedical, bio-energy, etc. Currently there are some research projects studying the possibility to produce energy using physiologicalsystems such as the

respiratory system, urinary system, blood system or the motion system [3] in animals or humans [4]. Some research groups are developing micro and nano- turbines used in small aero-engines, pacemakers and pumps as an application of Micro-Electro-Mechanical- Systems (MEMS). The objective of this paper is to design a bio-turbine with multiple „in-vitro‟ and „in- vivo‟ applications. However, it is important to differentiate between our research (design of a micro- turbine), which has physiological driving mechanisms, applications, and special characteristics, such as size and shape, from the approaches reported by others [6- 8].

This paper shows a modified Banki model according to the specific environmental conditions and application where the final micro-system that includes the micro-turbine will be implanted. The turbine consists of two main parts: the runner or wheel, and the enclosing. The runner has a circular solid center where curved vertical blades are fixed. The top and bottom of the blades are supported in circular disc to assure rigid blades and stability, the geometry is shown in Fig 1. Approximately 50% of the liquid passes directly from the inlet nozzle to the runners before it is discharged, and the other part runs free in direction of the outlet nozzle through the enclosing. The rotor design takes advantage of systems, reaction and impulse turbines, resulting in an accelerated flow using a widely known Venturi principle and obtaining torque in the reaction rotors.

Fig. 1 Rotor isometric and top view


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