Design, Manufacture and Testing of an Open-Source Benchmark Composite Hydrokinetic Turbine Blade
Keywords:Marine Energy, Composites, Tidal Turbine Blades, Bend-Twist Coupling, Manufacture, Finite Element Analysis, Hydrokinetic Turbines, Water Power, Finite Element Modeling, Structural Analysis, Testing
In a trend towards clean energy alternatives, recent years have seen great strides in the marine energy space. This has resulted in a pressing need for the design, development, and validation of novel energy harvesting technologies such as hydrokinetic devices, which capture kinetic energy from waves, tides, and currents. However, these devices span numerous concepts and designs that often lack solid benchmark research that can be freely referenced. This work focuses on the design process of an open-source composite hydrokinetic turbine blade for a three-bladed marine turbine rotor assembly with a diameter of 2.5 m. The proposed blade consists of two structural composite skins that are bonded with an adhesive and filled with a foam core. This study will explore and contrast the efficiency and resolution of low-fidelity rapid design methodologies and comprehensive high-fidelity approaches for the blade design, modeling, and analysis efforts, a key objective in this research. Blade hydrodynamic loads were modeled and applied to finite-element blade models to study deformations and potential failure. Ongoing efforts will result in blade manufacture and structural testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In future work, multiple blades will be deployed at the Living Bridge site at the University of New Hampshire and will be compared to rigid aluminum blades of the same geometry, developed by Sandia National Laboratories. Ultimately, this research will lay foundational groundwork for researchers and manufacturers, establishing a baseline composite blade design that will serve as a benchmark in the development of future hydrokinetic turbine blades.
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