Structural and Hydrodynamic Design Optimization Enhancements with Application to Marine Hydrokinetic Turbine Blades

Open Access
Trudeau, Matthew George
Graduate Program:
Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Arnold Anthony Fontaine, Thesis Advisor
  • Savas Yavuzkurt, Thesis Advisor
  • Renewable Energy
  • Turbine Blade Design
  • Marine Energy
  • Wind Energy
To increase the global power generated by marine sources, marine hydrokinetic turbines must be utilized. The design process of marine hydrokinetic technologies is still in its infancy. However, much of the development process has begun by utilizing the lessons learned from wind turbine development. Blade designs were initiated from their wind counterparts; however, due to the greatly increased loading in the sub-sea environment, these blades designs proved unfeasible. Therefore, a robust structural design and analy- sis tool was needed to help drive the design optimization process. This research focuses on structural and hydrodynamic design and analysis enhance- ments for HARP Opt, a NREL horizontal-axis turbine design and optimization code. Models calculating tip and local torsional de ection, automating a box spar design, and predicting tip vortex cavitation were created. Where appropriate, the structural analysis models were validated to within 10% error, with some within 5% error, using commer- cial nite element analysis software. The stress values of a nite-element analysis of a composite beam was used to validate an analytic solution to within 10% error. Lastly, these design and analysis methods were applied to a sample two-bladed, 500 kW turbine design to understand their results.