DOI: 10.3390/su16010033 ISSN: 2071-1050

A Simplified Optimization Model for Hydrokinetic Blades with Diffuser and Swept Rotor

Silvia C. de P. Andrade, Déborah A. T. D. do Rio Vaz, Jerson R. P. Vaz
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

The use of a diffuser in hydrokinetic turbines can improve the power coefficient. However, the risk of cavitation in the rotor blades increases. Studies suggest that backward-curved blades can reduce the axial load on the rotor and therefore prevent cavitation. Therefore, this work develops an optimization procedure applied to backward-curved blades in hydrokinetic turbines with diffusers based on the Blade Element Momentum Theory. The main contribution is to consider both the sweep effect and the presence of a diffuser in the optimization in an innovative way. We use a radial transformation function that adjusts the radial position considering the curvature of the blade during optimization under the effect of the diffuser. The results showed that the increase in blade curvature resulted in greater chord distributions and twist angles, especially at the blade tips. The Prandtl’s loss factor was not sensitive to sweep, but the linked circulation increased at the blade tips, suggesting an increased risk of cavitation. Depending on the sweep angle, the optimized blades were able to mitigate or avoid cavitation. In particular, a sweep angle of 30∘ eliminated cavitation. This study indicated that the proposed optimization can effectively prevent cavitation, showing satisfactory results.

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