This paper introduces a control co-design (CCD) framework to simultaneously explore the physical parameters and control spaces for a hydro-kinetic turbine (HKT) rotor optimization. The optimization formulation incorporates a coupled dynamic-hydrodynamic model to maximize the rotor power efficiency for various time-variant flow profiles. The open-loop optimal control is applied for maximum power tracking, and the blade element momentum theory (BEMT) is used to model the hydrodynamics. Case studies with different control constraints are investigated for CCD. Sensitivity analyses were conducted with respect to different flow profiles and initial geometries. Comparisons are made between CCD and the sequential process, with physical design followed by a control design process under the same conditions. The results demonstrate the benefits of CCD and reveal that, with control constraints, CCD leads to increased energy production compared to the design obtained from the sequential design process.

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