Title

Optimizing Underwater Turbine Blades To Improve The Efficiency Of Ocean Energy Generation

Author(s)

Tyler Wrenn

School Name

Center for Advanced Technical Studies

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Engineering

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Oral Presentation Award

2nd Place

Abstract

This study’s goal was to determine if there is an optimal blade design, from biomimicry, for an underwater turbine that allows for an improved efficiency. For this project, the null hypothesis is the efficiency of all biomimicry blades will be less than or equal to nonbiomimic blades. The alternate hypothesis is the efficiency of one biomimicry blade is greater than a nonbiomimicry blade. For this project, research on various aquatic species was conducted to determine how the fins of the aquatic animals help the animals move through the water. Then the blades were mimicked in Solidworks and were fabricated using a 3D printer. After printing, the blades were tested in a controlled environment and the resulting data was analyzed. After statical analysis, the blades were categorized and the null hypothesis was rejected or accepted for each individual blade design. Results to date have shown that there is great potential for biomimicry blades. So far the optimal blade design is that of a hump-back whale, producing a max of 18 DC volts. The whale fin was the only blade design that was able to completely reject the null hypothesis. This finding is not surprising because of the inclusion of this design in commercial wind turbine blades. From these findings further research will be conducted on different aquatic animal designs that will have tubercles in various places. In addition to animal fin research, further research will be conducted to find the optimal pitch of the blade.

Location

Owens G08

Start Date

4-16-2016 2:00 PM

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 2:00 PM

Optimizing Underwater Turbine Blades To Improve The Efficiency Of Ocean Energy Generation

Owens G08

This study’s goal was to determine if there is an optimal blade design, from biomimicry, for an underwater turbine that allows for an improved efficiency. For this project, the null hypothesis is the efficiency of all biomimicry blades will be less than or equal to nonbiomimic blades. The alternate hypothesis is the efficiency of one biomimicry blade is greater than a nonbiomimicry blade. For this project, research on various aquatic species was conducted to determine how the fins of the aquatic animals help the animals move through the water. Then the blades were mimicked in Solidworks and were fabricated using a 3D printer. After printing, the blades were tested in a controlled environment and the resulting data was analyzed. After statical analysis, the blades were categorized and the null hypothesis was rejected or accepted for each individual blade design. Results to date have shown that there is great potential for biomimicry blades. So far the optimal blade design is that of a hump-back whale, producing a max of 18 DC volts. The whale fin was the only blade design that was able to completely reject the null hypothesis. This finding is not surprising because of the inclusion of this design in commercial wind turbine blades. From these findings further research will be conducted on different aquatic animal designs that will have tubercles in various places. In addition to animal fin research, further research will be conducted to find the optimal pitch of the blade.