The design of tidal turbines is a new challenge for structural design engineers. These turbines must face strong and variable currents and must also be able to sustain impacts from smaller pieces of debris. The first thing that has happened with the installation in the East River by Verdant Power was a blade failure. Not surprisingly the blade failed at the root where the maximum moment was applied to the blade structure. Picture form and more information available at :http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/aug07/5449)
The proposed design approach in this effort will be based on experience from wind turbine blades, which have evolved over a period of decades and are now essentially similar throughout the industry. Some additional guidance for this project may come from propeller design which is similar to the tidal turbines. This will be a project which is heavloy6 biased toward analysis, and would be an excellent project for a team looking to do computational work and wanting to win the special award for best use of computational skills for the final cash award.
Return to project list