The goal of this study was to investigate the flow augmentation and performance characteristics of SAHT Energy LLC's proprietary suction augmented hydrokinetic turbine
(SAHT), which was designed to operate in shallower water, such as irrigation canals, and
to transform the kinetic energy of flowing water into electrical energy. This research aimed
to accelerate small business technologies in the marine hydrokinetic energy industry for
the U.S. Department of Energy’s SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program as
a part of its Powering the Blue Economy initiatives. Suction augmented hydrokinetic
turbine hydrodynamics and power performance characteristics were evaluated under
various operating conditions and rotor configurations using the commercial simulation
package Ansys Fluent (20.1) and high-performance computing (HPC) resources. The
technology includes an axial-flow rotor contained within a funnel duct and a nacelle housed
within a downstream converging-diverging nozzle that captures additional bypass flow and
was hypothesized to augment near-wake pressure and velocity characteristics. Ongoing
efforts focus on validating computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations against scaledmodel flume experiments. Based on this numerical study, the highest power coefficient,
?? = 0.31, occurred with both five and seven bladed rotors using a NACA 64- series blade
profile. The rotor and nacelle geometry proved to be the most efficient at λ =1.25 or 95
rpm. Because of a boundary layer separation from the sharp leading edge of the upstream
funnel, the further installation of either just the upstream funnel or the funnel-nozzle
combination was obstructing the flow through the rotor by lowering flow velocity inside
of the SAHT unit. According to the simulation analysis, utilizing the funnel and nozzle
geometry to augment hydrodynamics, the current SAHT unit design fails to increase
efficiency compared to a design with a non-ducted rotor and nacelle. To ensure an
improvement in power output and flow augmentation, future studies should examine the
revised design of the funnel and nozzle configurations as well as the use of more valid rotor
blade profiles. Validation of CFD modeling should also be performed, and perhaps some
adjustments to CFD modeling based on the physical model analysis.
University of Minnesota M.S.M.E. thesis. July 2021. Major: Mechanical Engineering. Advisor: Craig Hill. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 54 pages.
Zaman, Mohammad Arafat.
Computational fluid dynamics investigation on performance and flow augmenting characteristics of a ducted marine turbine.
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