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Numerical Optimization of a Portable Hydrokinetic Turbine
Hydropower has a long history as a source for clean, renewable energy. Conventional hydropower requires large civil structures and a high capital cost for construction. Hydrokinetic turbines do not require these structures and can be made to be portable systems, making them an attractive alternative to conventional hydropower. A portable hydrokinetic turbine is under development for a system that would provide soldiers with power for communication and computing devices in remote environments. A design optimization strategy is explained to optimize a turbine-diffuser system for a 2.25 m/s free-stream velocity with future plans to optimize the system at 1 m/s. The first iteration of the optimization loop is demonstrated and the results indicate an optimized design will produce 775 W. Comments on judging the results and how to proceed with the design optimization are discussed. Future plans for system design and prototype testing are provided.