In-situ experiments and numerical simulation of vertical-axis hydrokinetic turbines for small-scale power generation

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The rapid dwindling of oil reserves, growth of climate change, harmful environmental effects of conventional energy producing technologies and proliferation of energy demand encourage the researchers to look for harmless, reliable, cheaper, sustainable and clean energy production technologies. Such explorations and accessibility of electrical energy determines the economic growth and social living standards. Among the available renewable sources, hydro and wind power seem to be the optimum choices. The absence of an efficient, low cost and environment friendly hydraulic energy converters suited for free-flowing water are still a major barrier to the exploitation of renewable energy source. Therefore, the present analysis is planned for understanding the feasibility of generating power by using a hydrokinetic turbine with emphasis on turbine design and performance. Advantageously, the hydrokinetic power generation system does not require a conventional dam and hence it is possible to reduce the construction costs, and at the same time to prevent the environmental pollution. Till date, hydrokinetic devices have not been extensively utilized in commercial power plants. Further, there are limited data available to estimate the turbine performance.
Supervisors: Vinayak Kulkarni and Ujjwal K. Saha