HAO-LAVAL research project


Several hydrokinetic turbine concepts are being developed around the world, most of them using horizontal axis rotor blades (as most modern wind turbines) or vertical axis rotor blades (as Darrieus-type wind turbines).

The HAO research project (Hydrolienne à Ailes Oscillantes: Oscillating-wings hydrokinetic turbine) from Laval University involves the use of rectangular lifting surfaces (wings) oscillating in a water flow. These oscillating wings replace the conventional rotor blades.

The water flow drives the oscillating motion of the wings whose alternate motion is transmitted to a rotating shaft connected to a generator.

The hydrodynamic forces driving the wings are also cyclic which allows reaching higher mean performances than the ones achievable with a rotor-blade-hydrokinetic turbine of similar size in the same flow.

Results based on extensive numerical simulations predict a greater hydrodynamic efficiency for oscillating-wings hydrokinetic turbines compared to rotor-blade hydrokinetic turbines.

In addition, the untwisted wings of an oscillating-wings turbine have a simpler geometry than typical rotor blades. Moreover, its rectangular extraction plane is much more suitable to seabed and riverbed, allowing shallow water deployment with the possibility to scale up the rated power by simply increasing the turbine wing span.

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