Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Adviser

Oztekin, Alparslan

Other advisers/committee members

Oztekin, Alparslan; Banerjee, Arindam; Liu, Yaling; Diplas, Panos


Marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technology is a growing field that encompasses many different types of turbomachinery that operate on the kinetic energy of water. Micro hydrokinetics are a subset of MHK technology comprised of units designed to produce less than 100 kW of power. A propeller-type hydrokinetic turbine is investigated as a solution for a portable micro-hydrokinetic turbine with the needs of the United States Marine Corps in mind, as well as future commercial applications. This dissertation investigates using a response surface optimization methodology to create optimal turbine blade designs under many operating conditions.The field of hydrokinetics is introduced. The finite volume method is used to solve the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations with the k ω Shear Stress Transport model, for different propeller-type hydrokinetic turbines. The adaptive response surface optimization methodology is introduced as related to hydrokinetic turbines, and is benchmarked with complex algebraic functions.The optimization method is further studied to characterize the size of the experimental design on its ability to find optimum conditions. It was found that a large deviation between experimental design points was preferential. Different propeller hydrokinetic turbines were designed and compared with other forms of turbomachinery. It was found that the rapid simulations usually under predict performance compare to the refined simulations, and for some other designs it drastically over predicted performance. The optimization method was used to optimize a modular pump-turbine, verifying that the optimization work for other hydro turbine designs.