Students: Artem Kozyrenko, John Fisher, Lowell Perry, Erichson Pascual
Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead: Jeffrey Hoffman
Hydrokinetic technology has been around for many decades better known as hydroelectric dams. Hydrokinetic turbines produce electricity directly from the flowing water in a river or stream without the need of artificial head. Some more recent inventions include wave generators and river, ocean, and tidal current turbines. Due to large environmental effects of dams, and strong location dependency for tidal and ocean energy, river mounted turbines are gaining more attention on the market. Such systems can be conveniently installed on virtually any water stream without significantly disrupting wildlife.
High installation costs is the main disadvantage of such systems , yet in certain cases such as off the grid remote locations, construction sites, and emergency energy supplies a demand of such systems could meet the cost. In addition a mass production and improved designs could significantly lower costs potentially making it a viable energy source for anyone.
Two main types of hydrokinetic barges are both currently available on the market. Both are similar in the barge design, but have different turbine designs. Suspended axial flow turbine has its rotational axis parallel to the flowing direction of water. It is for deep water and is not designed to handle debris well .
Cross flow paddle design has its rotational axis horizontally perpendicular to the flow and may be used in small and shallow rivers and creeks.
The purpose of this project is to design and build a prototype of a hydrokinetic power barge, test it for the power efficiency, and determine efficiency difference between the two paddle designs.