TitleDesign, construction, and testing of a model hydrokinetic prototype
NameDeGennaro, Sean (author), Cook-Chennault, Kimberly (chair), Baruh, Haim (internal member), Muller, Michael (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectMechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Ocean wave power,
Renewable energy sources
DescriptionTidal power represents an excellent renewable energy resource for the United States, but its economics must be reassessed in such a way that it becomes cost competitive with fossil fuels. In order to reduce operating costs, Sunlight Photonics Inc., in conjunction with Rutgers University, has designed and tested a modified tidal current system which utilizes an underwater hydraulic energy transfer system instead of the current underwater turbine-generator assembly, a design which experiences high failure rates and is expensive to build and maintain. In the modified design, generators and all electrical components are relegated to on-land electrical stations, while the underwater system consists of a tidal turbine and hydraulic pump assembly; as the tidal turbine spins, a hydraulic pump attached to its drive shaft creates high pressure fluid. This high pressure fluid is sent to land, where it can produce electricity in a well-controlled environment. The prototype was designed with knowledge gained from extensive research into centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, gearboxes, and hydraulic fluids. The prototype utilizes a radial piston pump engaged to a 20 horsepower motor via a 14.63:1 reduction helical gearbox to simulate the power potential of the tides. An axial piston motor linked to a 460 volt three-phase alternating current generator and resistive load bank helps to simulate the effects of an active power plant on the hydraulic circuit. Testing showed that a heavily loaded generator produces greater pressure differentials between the high and low pressure sides of the hydraulic circuit than an unloaded generator. System efficiency of 20%, which is lower than anticipated, is traced to an underperforming generator and improperly sized hydraulic circuit. Recommended design modifications include a resized axial piston motor and generator assembly to help increase system efficiency to competitive levels of 70% or greater.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Sean DeGennaro
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.