Horizontal Axis Folding Ocean Current Energy Converter
The purpose of this project was to design an ocean current energy conversion device that is mountable onto a WAM-V 16 Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV). The device must be able to be deployed and retrieved manually and autonomously while the ASV is moored, and the device must be able to generate 50 Watts of electrical power for a period of two-hours. Originally, the power produced from this device had to be stored onboard and provide an outlet for a deployable drone payload to recharge. Due to limited resources, this requirement was amended and the power produced was measured across a load resistor instead. Four design concepts were created based on the power requirement and the payload capacity of the ASV: a horizontal axis turbine (HAT), vertical axis turbine (VAT), a waterwheel, and an oscillating drag-bag system. The HAT was selected to meet our design requirements based on the trade studies performed, resources available, and feasibility. Early estimates of a budget and schedule were created for the design, testing, and production phases and the group members were assigned technical and administrative rolls with a unified goal to design, test, and build the Horizontal Axis Folding Ocean Current Energy Converter.