Hydrokite: The Future of ocean current energy?


My research will be investigating the feasibility of implementing fixed wing aerofoils, which may be referred to as Hydro-kites, underwater to generate renewable energy in an ocean environment. These Hydro-kites may be installed underwater to glide in a cross current motion, this allows the kite to reach a higher velocity than the current itself which potentially means more energy can be produced by gliding the Hydro-kite in this manner. It is suggested that this avenue of renewable energy be investigated since ocean currents flow with more consistency than air currents and a kite implemented underwater may be positioned to constantly align itself with the ocean current, maximising the power output.


The aim of this research is to design and develop a physical model that will initially be implemented in the air to derive preliminary results and calibration of vehicle flight instruments. Following this, an in-depth design and performance analysis of a Hydro-kite will be developed and implemented in an ocean or similar water body. The results from these experiments conducted in the field will be used to determine the electrical energy that can be generated from these hydro-kites, with the results providing the framework for more advanced research such as autonomous control underwater and regular information communication in the near future.


BScEng (Civil)