Current Energy Harnessing using Synergistic Kinematics of Schools of Fish-Shaped Bodies

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
Vortex Hydro Energy, LLC
330 East Liberty, Lower Level, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Gus Simiao
 (734) 253-2451
Business Contact
 Gus Simiao
Title: Dr.
Phone: (734) 253-2451
Research Institution
Renewable energy generation is one of todays most challenging global dilemmas. The energy crisis requires tapping into every source of energy and developing every technology that can generate energy at a competitive cost within the next 50 years. Development of the FiSH-MHK transformative technology on top of the verified and pilot-tested VIVACE technology will bolster domestic energy security and mitigate global climate change. There are numerous commercial and military applications for a fully developed system, which could generate clean/renewable energy from small scale (1-5kW) to medium scale (500kW) to large scale (100MW). Applications span from small portable devices, to direct water pumping for irrigation, direct pumping for desalination, to powering off-shore stations, idle ships, coastal naval bases, and coastal communities, to powering utility-scale companies. Large areas with no natural resources such as the Caribbean or the Polynesia, sparsely populated areas like Alaska, long slow flows like the Netherlands channels, and areas that need desalinated water would benefit from FiSH-VIVACE converter as a reliable and environmentally compatible technology to generate MHK Power. The objectives of the proposed work pertain to building a high power-density and high efficiency device to harness MHK energy by mimicking fish-school kinematics. Vortex Hydro Energy is collaborating with a concept formed and undergone preliminary testing at the University of Michigan to complete this task. The objectives of the proposed work pertain to achieving synergistic kinematics of a school of fish-shaped bodies to maximize conversion of hydrokinetic power to electricity. This will be done by designing a school of bluff bodies with fish-body cross-section, fish-surface roughness, and fish-school spacing to optimize the lift-to-drag ratio of the oscillators as a group. The plan has three major objectives stated next. Objectives of Phase I SBIR: 1. Design the cross-section fish-shape of each individual school member (converter) to maximize its oscillatory lift-to-drag ratio using the dedicated CFD code developed, verified, and experimentally validated in the MRELab. 2. Test the optimized fish-shape experimentally in the Low Turbulence Free Surface Water Channel of the MRELab in comparison to a circular cylinder. 3. Perform preliminary CFD simulations for multiple cylinders with the fish-shaped cross section to identify synergistic operation. Objectives of Phase II SBIR: 1. Implement the optimal body-shape in a CFD search for optimal three-dimensional body distribution in a school of converters. 2. Test the optimized configuration experimentally. 3. Build/test/deploy the designed system in the St. Clair River.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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