Design, Manufacture, and Testing of an Open-Source Benchmark Composite Hydrokinetic Turbine Blade: Preprint

M. Gonzalez-Montijo, R. Murray, R. Beach, P. Murdy, V. Neary, D. Kim, M. Wosnik

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In a trend toward clean energy alternatives, recent years have seen great strides in the marine energy space. Consequently, there is a pressing need for the design, development, and validation of novel energy harvesting technologies such as hydrokinetic devices, which capture kinetic energy from waves, tides, and currents. However, these devices span numerous concepts and designs that often lack solid benchmark research that can be freely referenced throughout their development. This work focuses on the design process of an open-source composite hydrokinetic turbine blade for a three-bladed marine turbine rotor assembly with a diameter of 2.5 m. The proposed blade consists of two structural composite skins that are bonded with an adhesive and filled with a foam core. This study also explores and contrasts the efficiency and resolution of low-fidelity rapid design methodologies and comprehensive high-fidelity approaches in the context of blade design, modeling, and analysis efforts, a key objective in this research. Blade hydrodynamic loads were modeled and applied to finite-element blade models to study deformations and potential failure. Ongoing and upcoming efforts will result in blade manufacture and structural testing at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In future work, multiple blades will be deployed at the Living Bridge site at the University of New Hampshire and will be compared to rigid aluminum blades of the same geometry, developed by Sandia National Laboratories. Ultimately, this research will lay foundational groundwork for researchers and manufacturers, establishing a baseline composite blade design that will serve as a benchmark in the development of future hydrokinetic turbine blades.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2023
Event15th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 3 Sep 20237 Sep 2023


Conference15th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference
CityBilbao, Spain

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-87596 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-86367


  • blade design
  • composite design
  • finite element model
  • tidal turbine blade


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