Turbine Design and Reliability

Numerical Simulation of a Prototype MHK Generator

Led by Yufei Tang, Ph.D and James VanZwieten, Ph.D
Affiliated Home Campus: Boca Raton
Affiliated Department: Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science/Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center


Marine hydrokinetic (MHK) turbines integrated with a permanent magnetic synchronous generator (PMSG) are becoming increasingly viable systems to harness the available energy in open ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream. This design ensures significant advantages over traditional generators such as reducing the operational and maintenance costs as well as increased performance. This project involves the development of a MatLab\Simulink numerical 5kW generator model coupled with the National Renewable Marine Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) FAST rotor model simulation suite. The resulting platform allows for the simulation, analysis, and related characterization of this innovative technology in realistic operating conditions. To further improve performance, this project also presents a method to optimize PI controller parameters establishing steadier generator rotational velocity.

Click here to watch the student presentation.

HBOI ocean fish