Multiphysics Modeling of Hydrokinetic Turbine Energy Conversion System

Md Tariquzzaman, Samuel Barton, Peidong Li, Alastair Thurlbeck, Trenton Kilgore, Ted Brekken, Yue Cao

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Hydrokinetic turbines (HKTs) hold great promise as a renewable energy source, but high maintenance costs and limited energy output hinder their widespread adoption. The lack of comprehensive research on HKT drivetrain designs creates a knowledge gap in enhancing generation efficiency and cost reduction. A model of the HKT system with a focus on electric drivetrains and power converters is required to address this knowledge gap. This paper first introduces a MATLAB-averaged model integrating electrical-mechanical-thermal domains and aging behaviors within multi-time frames. Then a PLECS model, which incorporates maximum power point tracking and dq reference framed control for AC-DC-AC power converters, is enriched by a dynamic thermal model to predict fast transients accurately. These models optimize the design at the component level, resulting in improved integrated system performance. Furthermore, the validation of the models is carried out through hardware experiments for the averaged model and hardware-in-the-loop testing for the dynamic model.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2023
EventEnergy Conversion Congress and Expo (IEEE-ECCE) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Duration: 29 Oct 20232 Nov 2023


ConferenceEnergy Conversion Congress and Expo (IEEE-ECCE)
CityNashville, Tennessee, USA.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-88813


  • current energy
  • electric drivetrain
  • hydrokinetic turbine
  • lifetime
  • multiphysics modeling
  • power converters
  • thermal


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