Tidal Energy Demonstration Channel

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Connor Harrison University of New Hampshire
Liam Pillsbury University of New Hampshire
Berny Tran University of New Hampshire

Faculty Advisors:

Martin Wosnik UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering

The tidal energy demonstration channel was accomplished by designing and building a recirculating tank capable of producing sufficiently fast flow in a clear viewing section to rotate a model tidal turbine and power a small generator. A volt meter was set up to read how many volts the generators were producing. The characteristics of two types of hydrokinetic turbines, one with an in-stream horizontal axis and the other with a vertical axis can be demonstrated. The display can demonstrate how the output power increases with an increase in flow velocity, and it can also demonstrate the effect of placing two turbines in an array at variable distances.

The desired fluid velocity in the test section was 2 feet per second achieved using a 380 gallon per minute pump. The system head loss was calculated to be 33 feet. The turbines were made from ABS plastic created in a rapid prototyping machine. The in-stream axis turbines were designed with a tip speed ratio of 3 and the vertical axis turbine was designed with a tip-speed ratio of 2.5.


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


  • Tidal energy demonstration channel (2013). Connor Harrison, Liam Pillsbury and Berny Tran. Advisor: Martin Wosnik.