P12464: Hydrofoil River Power System
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The use of kites, or tethered airfoils, to harvest wind energy from high altitude winds has several advantages and disadvantages over the use of standard tower supported turbines. This project is both a step towards gaining a better understanding of how to design efficient, simple, tethered airfoil power systems and is also an offshoot technology which may prove to be useful in itself as a novel micro-hydro power system. Some of the advantages of these kite energy systems can be exploited for use in harnessing energy from water flows. One advantage is that the swept area of the lifting body can be very large even when the lifting body itself is small since it travels over long distances. Thus, theoretically, energy can be extracted from a large percentage of a river cross-section using a single hydro-kite. Using this swept area concept, an analogous kite system for a river has been initially studied and seems to show promise for harnessing energy from a river. An additional advantage of this system is that there are minimal alterations in the flow of the river as compared to traditional dam or barrage hydro-power installations.

Project Concept Image

Project Concept Image

The goal of this project is to build and test a small-scale system in a river. Some of the practical issues which need to be addressed are inclement weather, including frozen rivers during winter quarter, siting of the system (access to a possibly steep brush covered river bank), construction of a temporary base foundation, changing river heights, dealing with river debris (branches, logs, etc.), no control over river flow speed, and a need for permitting. In addition, preliminary assessments of the environmental impact of our system will be conducted. Two senior design teams, P12462 and P12463, have worked on developing an indoor scale model of the system which does not have these practical design issues to deal with. The knowledge gained in the design of the indoor scale model system will be helpful in the development of the full-size system for this project.

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

Full-Scale System at the Genesee River

Full-Scale System at the Genesee River

Project Name
Hydrofoil River Power System
Project Number
P12464
Project Family
Energy and Sustainable Systems
Start Term
Winter 2011-2
End Term
Spring 2011-3
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik
echeee@rit.edu
(585) 475 - 7428
Primary Customer
Mario Gomes
mwgeme@rit.edu
(585) 475 - 2148
Sponsor (financial support)
EPA P3 Grant Award
P3 Competition

P3 Competition

Team Members

From Left to Right: Harshita Sood, Joe Fertitta, Geoff Bastian, Chris Donnelly, Matt Marion, Justin Grates and Don Leclerc

From Left to Right: Harshita Sood, Joe Fertitta, Geoff Bastian, Chris Donnelly, Matt Marion, Justin Grates and Don Leclerc

Member Role Contact
Geoff Bastian ME - Generator and Gear Train Engineer gwb3000@rit.edu
Chris Donnelly ME - Boom Engineer/Data Acquisition cjd6976@rit.edu
Joe Fertitta ME - System Controls Engineer jxf1643@rit.edu
Justin Grates IE - Team Leader/Project Manager jfg1014@rit.edu
Donald Leclerc ME - Chief/Base Engineer dxl1261@rit.edu
Matt Marion ME - Hydrofoil Engineer mwm2994@rit.edu
Harshita Sood ES - Environmental Scientist hxs8080@rit.edu

Table of Contents

MSD I MSD II

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Project Review

Photo Gallery

Videos

Data Collection

Planning & Execution

Build, Test, Document

Project Review

Final Presentation - 5/18/12

Technical Paper

Senior Design Poster

Owner's Manual

Acknowledgements

Sincere thanks to Dr. Mario Gomes, Professor Edward Hanzlik, Rob Kraynik, Dave Hathaway, Jan Maneti, RIT Formula SAE, RIT Aero Club, and Kelsey McConnaghy.

Team Values and Norms | Team Ethics | Brainstorming Form