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Marine Hydrokinetic Energy

  • Design optimization and non-linear fluid structure interactions of Marine Hydrokinetic Turbines: Traditionally, design optimization of MHKTs follow the decoupled route where the engineer optimizes for the power coefficient based on a Navier-Stokes (or a Blade Element theory) solver, the thickness and the blade span based on a finite element analysis and finally selects a material based on design metrics from the decoupled fluid flow and structural equations. The focus of the ongoing research is to develop, test and validate computational models that describe the non-linear dynamics of fluid-structure interactions (FSI) for HKE systems. A design optimization (based on gradient based techniques) of decoupled hydrodynamics and structural mechanics solvers would be inefficient and will lead to a fast convergence at an optimal (local) solution. A Genetic Algorithm (GA) approach is being developed which when coupled with the FSI solver will lead to convergence on a globally optimal solution.


  • Hydrodynamic and Hydrological Impacts of HKE Systems:  (Collaboration with Prof. Panos Diplas, CEE) We experimentally study the three-way coupling between the hydrokinetic energy harvesting device, approach flow and local bed topography. We are also investigating the overall impact of the energy harvesting device on river morphology (scour development), flood conveyance and sediment transport due to local extraction of kinetic energy from the stream and the induced non-homogeneous turbulent stream. The change in the local topography can substantially increase the dynamic interplay between the approach flow and the turbine in ways that are currently completely unknown. 
  • Hydrokinetic Farm Layout: We are also exploring HKE array configurations to quantify the effects of increased turbulence from various sources, including free-stream turbulence, upstream hydrokinetic devices (arrays) and in-stream structures like bridge piers. The engineering models that can be developed for calculating productions losses and enhanced blade loading (leading to fatigue) due to wake effects from upstream or neighboring MCTs and is based on local momentum principles that are applied to each individual rotor unit.

    Lehigh University MHKE Team: Prof. Banerjee and graduate/undergraduate students

  • Financial Support:   Past: Office of Naval Research (Program Managers: Ron Joslin and Michelle Anderson), Lehigh University Start-up Funds, U.Missouri Rolla ERDC awards.
  • Current Collaborators:  Prof. Panos Diplas (CEE, Lehigh University)
  • Current Students: Ashwin Vinod (PhD-Lehigh), Pranav Kashyap Modalu (MS-Lehigh), Conrad Mason (UG-Lehigh)
  • Former Students: Nitin Kolekar (PhD-Lehigh), Ashwin Vinod (MS-Missouri S&T), Varun Lobo (MS-Missouri S&T), Suchi Subhra Mukherji (MS-Missouri S&T)

Publications (most recent first):

  1. Performance characterization and placement of a marine hydrokinetic turbine in a tidal channel under boundary proximity and free surface effects, Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee,  Journal of Applied Energy148 (15June 2015): 121-133 (2015).  
  2. Effects of free stream turbulence on the performance of a marine hydrokinetic turbine - Ashwin Vinod and Arindam Banerjee, APS-DFD2015, Boston, MA.
  3. Performance and near-wake flow field of a marine hydrokinetic turbine operating in free surface proximity - Arindam Banerjee and Nitin Kolekar, APS-DFD2015, Boston, MA. 
  4. Effect of free surface proximity and blockage on performance of a marine hydrokinetic turbine - Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee, 3rd Marine Energy Technology Symposium, Washington DC, 2015.
  5. Surface protrusion based mechanisms of augmenting energy extraction from vibrating cylinders at Reynolds number 3x103 - 3x104 - Ashwin Vinod and Arindam Banerjee, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy6: 063106 (2014).
  6. Robust design with imprecise random variables and its application in hydrokinetic turbine optimization - Zhen Hu, Xiaoping Du, Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee, Engineering Optimization 46 (3): 393-419 (2014).
  7. The dynamic interaction of a marine hydrokinetic turbine with its environment - Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee, APS-DFD2014, San Francisco, CA.
  8. Experimental investigation on the effects of blockage and free surface proximity on flow field and performance of a hydrokinetic turbine, Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee,  APS-DFD2013, Pittsburgh, PA.
  9. Augmenting energy extraction from vortex induced vibration using strips of roughness/thickness combinations -Ashwin Vinod, Amshumann Kashyap, Arindam Banerjee and Jonathan Kimball, Marine Energy Technical Symposium 2013, Washington D.C.
  10. Hydrodynamic Design and Optimization of Hydrokinetic Turbines using a Robust Design Method - Nitin Kolekar, Zhen Hu, Arindam Banerjee and Xiaoping Du, Marine Energy Technical Symposium 2013, Washington D.C.
  11. A coupled hydro-structural design optimization for hydrokinetic turbines - Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 5, 053146 (2013).
  12. Structural Health monitoring data transmission for composite hydrokinetic turbine blades - A. Heckman, J. Rovey, K. Chandrashekhara, S.E. Watkins, D.S. Stutts, Arindam Banerjee and R. Mishra, Advanced Shipping and Ocean Engineering 2: 50-59 (2013).
  13. Optimum design of hydrokinetic turbine based on a fluid structure interaction analysis - Nitin Kolekar and Arindam Banerjee - APS-DFD2012, San Diego, California.
  14. Enhancing vortex induced vibration of a circular cylinder using roughness strips - Ashwin Vinod and Arindam Banerjee - APS-DFD2012, San Diego, California.
  15. Numerical investigation and evaluation of optimum hydrodynamic performance of a horizontal axis hydrokinetic turbine Suchi Subhra Mukherji, Nitin Kolekar, Arindam Banerjee & Rajiv Mishra, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy 3: 063105 (2011).
  16. Numerical modeling and optimization of hydrokinetic turbines – Nitin Kolekar, Suchi Subhra Mukherji and Arindam Banerjee – Paper No- ESFuelCell2011-54252, Washington DC (2011).
  17. Hydrokinetic Energy Harvesting System from Vortex Induced Vibrations of Submerged Bodies – Varun Lobo, Arindam Banerjee, Nyuykighan Mainsah and Jonathan Kimball – PaperNo-ESFuelCell2011-54353, Washington DC (2011).
  18. Hydrokinetic Energy Harvesting System from Vortex Induced Vibrations of Submerged Bodies – Varun Lobo, Nyuykighan Mainsah, Arindam Banerjee and Jonathan Kimball – IEEE Green Tech 2011 Conference, Baton Rouge, LA (2011).
  19. Numerical investigation for design and critical performance evaluation of a horizontal axis hydrokinetic turbine – Suchi Subhra Mukherji and Arindam Banerjee –APS-DFD2010, Nov. 22-24, Long Beach, California.