Developing Hydrokinetic Wingtip Devices

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

John Brindley University of New Hampshire
Jesse Shull University of New Hampshire
Ian Gagnon University of New Hampshire

Faculty Advisors:

Martin Wosnik UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Ivaylo Nedyalkov UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering
The primary goal of this project was to create a numerical and experimental testbed for developing wingtip devices for marine applications, in particular Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) turbines. The numerical studies were performed using OpenFOAM, a C++ toolbox. The numerical simulations provided profiles of pressure, velocity, and vorticity, as well as lift and drag values for each device.
From the simulation studies, novel devices coined the General and SplitTip were found to greatly reduce the effects of wingtip vortices, as compared to a generic wing.
The purpose of the experimental apparatus was to test various wingtip devices without creating full turbine blade sections for each device. The testing apparatus was designed such that four pressure measurements could be taken at various locations along the wingtip. Similarly these pressure-bores may be used to test the effects of injecting liquid water, or other mass, into the flow.
Achievements of this project provide an adequate means of simulating and testing hydrokinetic turbine tips. Computer based simulations exploited the benefits of computational fluid dynamics to accurately and rapidly develop complex devices at low cost. Real-world experiments performed in the HiCaT provided verification of CFD results. The numerical and experimental test-beds developed for the project will expedite future work on the design and testing of advanced hydrokinetic wingtip devices.  


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • Developing hydrokinetic wingtip devices (2014). John Brindley, Jesse Shull and Ian Gagnon. Advisors: Martin Wosnik and Ivaylo Nedyalkov.