Design and Analysis of a Modular River Current Energy Converter
This thesis proposes the design and documents analysis for a Modular River Current Energy Converter (MRCEC) to improve the efficiency of hydrokinetic turbine power systems. The MRCEC can produce electricity from low-velocity river flow with increased energy affordability and availability. The MRCEC, for the scope of this thesis, consists of the hydroturbine and maintenance systems. The turbine in the MRCEC system is a cross-flow cycloidal turbine that yields a high power coefficient (0.515) through a novel pitch variance mechanism involving a 3D cam that adapts to varying river flow conditions to maximize operational efficiencies. The cycloidal turbine is a four-section three-blade turbine that uses a unique hydrofoil profile designed for the MRCEC. The cycloidal turbine is housed in a frame supported by a flotation system to harness energy from near-surface currents. The flotation system, in turn, is connected to the service dock which houses the mooring, debris blockage, and maintenance systems. The mooring system allows the MRCEC to be fixed at the working site while allowing for self-adjustment with varying river depths. The debris blockage system prevents debris carried by the river from interfering with an operational hydroturbine. The maintenance system enables the installation, operation, and maintenance functions by integrating a flipping mechanism to invert the turbine for transportation and maintenance purposes. Mechanisms of these systems are designed to appropriate standards, then simulated to validate functionality at all stages of installation, operation, and maintenance.
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- West Lafayette