Hydrogeneration using electric sail drives: A parameter study for the geometrical optimization of marine turbines
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Using electric engines as drive units for sailing boats holds the advantage of the potential dual use as a generator for electric energy. Especially on longer sailing legs, hydrogeneration has played an important role and often is realised using dedicated hydrogenerator devices, powering the essential devices on a vessel. This thesis researches the influence of geometrical, as well as operational parameters of the motor’s propeller on the hydrogeneration efficiency. The goal is to find out the most relevant parameters for the efficiency of a hydrogenating turbine when being optimised purely for this type of operation. The findings of this research are then discussed with respect to how they could be applied on propellers, primarily serving as propulsive devices but also being well fitted for hydrogeneration. After identifying parameters with a significant effect on hydrogeneration efficiency, a calculation tool was coded to estimate the turbine efficiency quickly, using the Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEM) comprising an integrated NACA profile simulator. The mathematically defined parameter sets were then transferred into 3D models and studied with Computer Fluid Dynamics software (CFD). The CFD results were validated in a hydrogeneration test campaign. During this campaign, 3D printed prototypes were operated on an electric boat drive equipped with signal processing tools.