Faculty Advisor

Savilonis, Brian James

Abstract

An original water energy harvesting mechanism was designed, manufactured, and tested to determine the feasibility of hydropower as a source of renewable energy. The device consists of a neoprene fin that moves in a sinusoidal motion, allowing fish to travel past it. This fin connects to a crankshaft that turns a generator. The device is optimal in low water current speeds, such as rivers or drainage pipes. Five fins of varied thicknesses were tested in water flow speeds between 0.5 m/s and 1.5 m/s using a torque watch and tachometer. The best fin tested was the 1/32” 50A durometer neoprene fin, which produced a power of 1.5 Watts and a 16% efficiency. This efficiency makes the prototype competitive with other water energy harvesting devices on the market.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2017

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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