Master of Science
Hydrokinetic technology has a long history as a viable long term renewable energy. It has outpaced wind energy production in the U.S. due to the largely unpredictable and inconsistent nature of wind while most hydrokinetic technology operates in near constant flow conditions. These conditions are created through the construction of massive dams, causing intense and mostly irreversible damage to the surrounding area. Submerged hydrokinetic turbine systems are an alternative that has the potential to produce smaller quantities of electricity in far more locations.Energy production systems that produce less than 100kW are considered micro-hydrokinetic systems. This level of production is ideal for isolated supplementary, emergency, and off-grid power generation. The design focus was to create a micro-hydrokinetic turbine system to generate 250W of continuous power that could be transported by a small team. As numerical models and optimization techniques were applied to the turbine design, the design necessitated a shift towards increasing manufacturability while maintaining peak performance. By analyzing the CFD and optimization data of ideal conditions, critical and noncritical design locations can be determined. These critical and non critical locations were used to ultimately determine the way in which each component was to be manufactured. These modifications and manufacturing methods were imposed in the final design of the prototype and the influence of each was compared with ideal geometric conditions of the turbine.
Oblas, Nick, "Design, Manufacture and Prototyping of a Hydrokinetic Turbine Unit for River Application" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 2747.