Tethered water power electrical generator

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University of New Brunswick
This report conveys the design and experimental results of the completed tethered water powered electrical generator. Included here is an overview of background about different styles of waterwheels that were used to make preliminary decisions. Also here are finalized design specifications of the wheel itself including a 9 inch (228.6mm) diameter with an equal width. As the design was modified, the budget was changed to accommodate the additions, with a final cost coming in at $855, which includes the final prototype designed to fit and be tested in the UNB flume, as well as two extra sets of blades to be tested for comparison against the new design. Multiple analytical models have been considered, while each model is slightly different they all predict an output in the vicinity of one watt for the size of the prototype, with a water speed of 1 m/s. These calculations can also be used to figure out what size of wheel would be necessary to produce power for a larger electrical load. The testing results and observation are included as well. As the generator efficiency was unknown they are not identical to the theoretical but follow similar, obvious patterns. For example the power is linearly increased as the submerged area is increased. It was also noticed that the designed blades aided in reducing splashing. A few aspects to be considered for a larger model are also discussed including safety aspects as well as operating parameters. Although these sections are not relevant to the prototype constructed they are important factors to be considered for a larger scale generator, as is the ultimate goal of this project.