Performance Evaluation of Coaxial Horizontal Axis Hydrokinetic Composite Turbine System


Hydrokinetic energy technology is emerging as a viable solution for renewable power generation. Unlike conventional hydropower turbines, hydrokinetic turbines are environmentally friendly as they operate at zero-head and do not need dams to impound the water (dams are used to increase hydraulic head). This work was focused on manufacturing techneque (out of autoclave techneque) of composite blades as well as evaluating the hydrodynamic performance of a small-scale 3-blade horizontal axis hydrokinetic composite turbine system that harness a river's kinetic energy. The composite turbine system configuration was varied and tested in a water tunnel. The first set of experiments provided insight into the operating characteristics of a 3-blade single turbine by varying its pitch angle, tip speed ratio, and flow velocity. A multiturbine system of two and three 3-blade rotors (mounted coaxially to the same shaft) was tested in the second set of experiments. The purpose of this configuration was to maintain the turbine system solidity while increasing the blade number and swept area. The effect of distance between rotors as well as the rotors relative installation angle was investigated. The results indicated that, for the chosen hydrofoil, decreasing the pitch angle from 20 ° to 5 ° increased the power coefficient at higher tip speed ratio, with an optimum tip speed ratio ranged between 4.6 and 4.8. Increasing the number of rotors of the turbine system from one to two rotors enhanced the efficiency by approximately 50 % and lowered the operational tip speed ratio.

Meeting Name

Composites and Advanced Materials Expo 2015, CAMX 2015 (2015: Oct. 27-29, Dallas, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Flow velocity; Hydraulic motors; Kinetic energy; Kinetics; Turbines; Turbomachine blades; Energy technologies; Hydrodynamic performance; Hydrokinetic turbines; Installation angle; Operating characteristics; Out of autoclaves; Power coefficients; Renewable power generation; Turbine components

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2015 The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2015

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