P12462: Tow Rig for Tethered Hydrofoil


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

Project Background
The use of kites, or tethered airfoils, is a growing alternative to harvesting wind energy over the use of standard tower supported turbines. There are many advantages to using an airfoil over a turbine, such as a large swept area of lifting body even if when the lifting body itself is small. Using that idea the kite system can be used in a river to harness energy. An advantage to using the system in a river is that there are minimal alterations in the flow of the river as compared to a dam or barrage hydro-power installations.
Problem Definition
The mission of this project is to build a small scaled version of the tethered airfoil that can be used in a river. Since the project is being split between the kite and the tow rig to move the kite, this project is focusing on the tow rig part. The goal of the tow rig is to be able to move a platform at a constant specified velocity across the top of a stationary body of water. The results will then be compared to the model simulation provided by MATLAB.
Put photo of project here
Project Name
Tow Rig for testing tethered hydrofoil micro-hydro systems indoors
Project Number
Project Family
Energy and Sustainable Systems
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Ed Hanzlik
Primary Customer
Mario Gomes
Sponsor (financial support)
EPA P3 grant awarded

Team Members

From Left to Right: Shauna Traxler (ME), Hope Alm (ME), Andres Santizo Matheu (ISE), Tim Buckner (ME), and William Lentlie (ME)

From Left to Right: Shauna Traxler (ME), Hope Alm (ME), Andres Santizo Matheu (ISE), Tim Buckner (ME), and William Lentlie (ME)

Member Role Contact
Will Lentlie ME Team Leader wrl9473@rit.edu
Andres Santizo IE axs8065@rit.edu
Tim Buckner ME System Engineer tpb9421@rit.edu
Shauna Traxler ME slt2166@rit.edu
Hope Alm ME hla4158@rit.edu

Governing Team Documents

Systems Design Review

Detailed Design Review


Table of Contents

Governing Team Documents Systems Design Review Detailed Design Review MSD II

1-Page Project Summary

Team Values and Norms, Peer Evaluation

Pool vs. Tank Discussion

First Presentation

System Design Review Agenda

Customer Needs

Engineering Specifications

Project Plan

System Integration

Concept Generation

Risk Assessment

Detailed Design Review

Data Acquisition and Validation

Preliminary Manufacturing Plan

Risk Assessment Update

CAD drawings

Feasibility Analysis

Project Plan Update

Customer Needs Update

Engineering Specifications Update

Working Documents

Final Decisions

Instruction Manuals

Experimental Results

Red, Yellow, Green for Customer Needs

Red, Yellow, Green for Engineering Specifications


Project Poster

Technical Paper

Photo Gallery

Final Presentation


Special thanks and acknowledgements to everyone involved in the designing, building, and testing phases of the tow tank. Team P12642 would like to extend thanks to EPA P3, sponsor of the project, as well as to Dr. Mario Gomes, the customer.

P12462 also thanks RIT faculty Dr. Steven Day for participating on the review of the design, as well as Professor John Wellin for his support intellectually as well as his material donations. Thanks to Kelsey McConnaghy for help understand the MATLAB simulation.

Thanks to Robert Kraynik, Jan Maneti, and Dave Hathaway, members of the RIT Machine Shop where the tow tank was manufactured. Thanks to Mahany Welding Supply for donating the Miller MIG Welder, and RIT Facility Management Services for donating the primer and paint.

Lastly, thanks to Professor Ed Hanzlik for his help and guidance on this journey. It would not have been possible without him.