Application of Composite Materials to Tidal Turbine Blades
Tidal currents can provide a significant and predictable source of renewable energy. This project will research the use of composite materials for the blades of a tidal turbine to harness this energy. The rotor blades are currently made of steel, which leads to several problems in the marine environment, expensive manufacturing processes and difficulties in handling (due to weight). Composites are potentially able to solve these problems. An extensive literature review is to be performed to determine state-of-the-art solutions for the use of alternative materials in underwater applications. Possible design solutions will be investigated with due consideration to static and fatigue loads. Standards from the wind turbine and marine industry will be studied to yield guidance on the design of the blades. Recommendations for subsequent research will also be given, based on identified areas of deficient knowledge.