Ocean currents are one of the alternative sources of green, sustainable, and renewable energy that could generate low-cost electric power without any pollution due to the burning of fossil fuels. Due to the density of the water, ocean currents can produce a significant amount of energy even with a very small current velocity field. In this study, a comprehensive performance analysis of 3-blade horizontal-axis Ocean Current Turbine (OCT) is shown to achieve optimal rpm (revolutions per minute) to match environmental conditions in order to harvest the maximum possible energy from OCT in ocean currents. Our approach is to use Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory in order to estimate hydrodynamic loads for the turbine; specifically, the design of the OCT blades is based on a FX77-W121 type airfoil. We use JavaFoil to analyze and determine hydrodynamic lift and drag coefficients with respect different angles of attack for the hydrofoil profiles in seawater. After validation of blade design characteristics and obtaining the local coefficients of each hydrofoil cross-sections, we transfer them to our in-house-developed Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEM) code in order to achieve the estimation of performance analysis of the OCT in order to get maximum power and ideal torque and thrust. This performance analysis with BEM model of the OCT is an important step for further analysis due to having different incoming flow speeds in actual time-varying sea conditions. Indeed, the OCT will encounter different incoming ocean current speeds during operation. Therefore, this approach is used to get an accurate brake power estimate of the OCT in different operational current speeds. In addition, this performance analysis of the OCT is going to be utilized in designing and developing a test model for the physical towing tank experiment for later investigation.

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