Team 27

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Reagan Pelton
Jacob Roediger
Ashley Sirowich

Dr. Georgios Matheou


United States Coast Guard

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Hydrokinetic Electric Generator

We were tasked with creating a Hydrokinetic Electric Generator for use in rivers with low flow velocities, and with tidal effects that periodically reversed the flow of the river. The original scope of the project was to produce 1kW of electricity in these conditions, but as the project continued, it became clear that this goal was unachievable. As such, the project was transformed into a feasibility experiment to see if there was a design that could work. This project is a continuation from last year, however after analyzing the H-Darrieus turbine that was produced last year, our team decided to explore other options. After research, our team decided to create a modified savonius turbine that could work under water. This decision was formative in our group's desire to create a drag force based turbine. Based on testing, our generator had to be spun at or above 100 rpm to produce the voltage required to create a meaningful power. In our prototype testing, which was done to prove that a drag force based design was feasible, it became apparent that our current design could not spin at very high rpm but had a large torque when it was spinning. In order to increase the rpm, a gear reduction was suggested to be added. This would then increase the torque required to spin the generator by a factor equal to the gear ratio. Since the turbine spun a a low rpm, to generate the torque needed to spin the generator, the arms of the generator had to be increased in length. Since we are working with such a small testing chamber, it was deemed impractical to extend the arms. Therefore, the turbine was modified such that there was more surface area facing the flow. Tests will be run on this current iteration of the design and recommendations will be made on how feasible this renewable energy concept is.