Hydrokinetic Wells Turbine


A Wells turbine is an ocean wave power generator where symmetric blades allow bidirectional waves to generate unidirectional torque. I designed this hydrokinetic Wells turbine to drive a uranium collector device within a required speed range throughout the varied sea states that occur during a year in the Nantucket Sound.

Below is a video of when I tested a prototype turbine's performance in the MIT tow tank. I used a motor on the turbine to set an initial turbine velocity before the waves started (required to adjust the turbine velocity:wave velocity ratio). Although hard to tell in the video, the turbine speed increases from about 49 RPM to 70 RPM when the waves pass it, as illustrated in the sample data plot below.

I am using this data to verify my model of the turbine dynamics in oscillating fluid flow. A publication based on this data is in preparation.

Video of wave tank test

Nonlinear load cells
 Sample experimental data