This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY 4.0
The conversion of kinetic energy that comes from low-head water currents to electrical energy has gained importance in recent years due to its low environmental and social impact. Horizontal axis hydrokinetic turbines are one of the most used devices for the conversion of this type of energy , being an emerging technology more studies are required to improve the understanding and functioning of these devices. In this context, the hydrodynamic study to obtain the characteristic curves of the turbines are fundamental. This article presents the design and hydrodynamic analysis for three horizontal axis tri-blade hydrokinetic turbine rotors with commercial profiles (NACA 4412, EPPLER E817 and NRELS802). The Blade Element Momentum (BEM) was used to design three rotors. The Design Modeler, Meshing and CFX modules from the ANSYS® commercial package were used to discretize the control volumes and configure the numerical study. In addition, Grid Convergence Index (GCI) analysis was performed to evaluate the precision of the results. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to observe the behavior of the fluid by varying the speed of rotation of the turbines from 0.1 rad s-1 to 40 rad s-1, obtaining power coefficient of 0.390 to 0.435. For a maximum shaft power of 105W. In addition, it is evident that for the same conditions the rotor designed with the EPPLER E817 profile presents better performance than built with the NACA4412 and NREL S802.
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