team photo

Team 69

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Liam Walsh
Grayson Hall
Christian Gurrieri
Jeff Hannigan

Georgios Matheou


United States Coast Guard

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Hydrokinetic Electric Generator

This project was sponsored by the United States Coast Guard Academy and consists of two teams, one of Mechanical Engineers (ME Team 69) and another of Electrical Engineers (ECE Team 2305). Our project's goal was to design and develop a Hydrokinetic Electric Generator for deployment in Connecticut's waterways. Taking into consideration the local environment and using inspiration from a popular vertical axis H-Darrieus wind turbines, we began to do CFD simulations on a selection of known airfoil profiles to decide which one will be the best for our design. Meanwhile the ECE team came up with solutions to connect the turbine's main shaft to a generator to produce a constant voltage with the hopes of powering small devices. Our final design is a 4-blade vertical axis H-Darrieus turbine that hangs from a wooden platform and is submerged under water. On top of the platform, the turbine's shaft connects to a mounted generator to produce power from the turbine's rotational momentum. This turbine design is a lift turbine, meaning the airfoils produce a lift-like force (similar to a plane's wing), which in combination with the other three blades produces a net torque about the axis. From our CFD simulations we found the NACA 6409 airfoil profile produced the greatest torque in our expected conditions. Although not implemented in our final design, we have additionally done research and created conceptual designs for systems to change the airfoil's angle of attack as the turbine rotates so they can produce the greatest torque at each position.

Our team collaborated with Electrical and Computer Engineering 23 on this project.