Development of a Hydrokinetic Turbine for Puerto Rico
Rivera Rodríguez, Andrea
Diaz Mercado, Estefan L.
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The island of Puerto Rico has struggled for decades with antiquated power plants that produce excess greenhouse gases In 2017 the delicacy of the overall power system on the island was demonstrated when two Category 5 hurricanes left most of its citizens with no electricity for months For this investigation, the researchers developed, designed, and simulated a hydrokinetic turbine utilizing real life coastal parameters of Puerto Rico to find out if it's possible to generate electricity with this technology Per the NOAA database Caricoos the highest average water velocities of Puerto Rico are found near Vieques, with only 0.16 m/s For this reason, it was decided early in the investigation to incorporate a duct to maximize flow With successful European turbines used as a basis, a concept of what would be suitable for the island was developed Using XFLR 5 for airfoil analysis, the Eppler 385 was selected based on its favorable lift and drag data Utilizing the BEM and BEMT theories, a duct developed specifically for tidal turbines, and initial blade angles for twist, a MATLAB program was created to optimize the 7.4 meter turbine and produce performance results It output 91.2 Watts of power and an efficiency of 103.7% running at an optimum Tip Speed Ratio of 5 and a RPM of 2,065 Employing Ansys Fluent to validate the results, the turbine produced 77 Watts of power while running with an efficiency of 87.6 at the same TSR and RPM exceeding the Betz limit of 60 Both results greatly surpassed the MATLAB run with an unducted turbine that resulted with 47.1 efficiency, proving the profound effect of a duct on turbine performance Despite the low power output, the researchers managed to produce power with the low current velocities of Puerto Rico, pointing to a possible renewable future via hydrokinetic turbine applications