Savilonis, Brian James
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.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
All authors have granted to WPI a nonexclusive royalty-free license to distribute copies of the work, subject to other agreements. Copyright is held by the author or authors, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.