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Reference: VanZwieten, J.H., C.M. Oster, and A.E.S. Duerr, 2011: Design and analysis of a rotor blade optimized for extracting energy from the Florida Current. Proceedings of the ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering, June 19-24, 2011, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, OMAE2011-49140.
Abstract: The Florida Current flowing past Southeast Florida represents an untapped renewable energy resource with a mean kinetic energy flux near its core of 2.32 kW/m2. The research presented in this paper details the hydrodynamic optimization of a three meter diameter, three-bladed rotor for an experimental research turbine. The proposed deployment site for this turbine is located 24 km off the coast of Southeast Florida in 300 m of water. At this location, thirteen months of continuous ocean current profile measurements have been collected. A genetic algorithm rotor optimization code was used to vary the geometry of the proposed rotor to maximize the average power output using the oceanographic measurements. The optimized rotor, operating in the observed flow field, is predicted to produce a mean shaft power of 7.153 kW when operating at 40 RPM. A sensitivity analysis shows that by increasing the RPM by 25% and 50%, the average power output can be increased by 3.56% and 4.99% respectively. Additionally, using a four-bladed rotor can increase the average power output by 4.22% when operating at 40 RPM.