This enabled a cost-effective and light-weight solution when compared with the previous metallic turbine blade design. Based on the complex-shaped hydro-dynamically designed geometry, a method to manufacture the turbine assembly was developed along with a light-weight structural design.
Low-cost composite tooling was designed and fabricated to achieve the desired shape and a series of sub-components were manufactured. Using a specially designed assembly fixture, the sub-components were laminated together producing a single-piece, dimensionally-accurate, complex blade assembly with integrated internal hub for the central drive shaft. Finishing of the part included a marine top-coat and rotational balancing of the turbine blade, completed here in Melbourne.
Kinetic NRG are impressed with the high quality and accuracy achieved in the final product, allowing them to complete assembly of their prototype Hydro-kinetic Energy Generator for in-water trials. Kinetic NRG are an Australian renewable energy company based in Queensland near the Gold Coast. They are developing Australian made and designed sustainable hydro-powered technology. We are proud to partner with an Australian manufacturer working on clean energy solutions.
In Australia, most high-head hydro energy has already been harnessed (Geoscience Australia), presenting an opportunity in low-head hydro with Kinetic NRG’s modular turbine designed to generate power in channels and streams. The advantage of composite turbines for this application is the mass saving approx. 50-70% compared with steel components (Hydro Review) making it more suitable for micro turbines and installation in remote areas.