Taking Advantage of Free Flowing Currents

Verdant Power is a recognized leader in the emerging marine renewable energy industry, using dam-less hydropower to convert energy found in flowing water currents.

The design of the system consists of three 3 meter Al-MAG 535 blades weighing approximately 400 kg each. The material was selected for its mechanical properties and corrosion resistance characteristics in marine applications. The current of the flowing water will turn the blades producing electricity. To ensure that the casting would meet the required quality levels, MAGMASOFT   ® was utilized. Prime Aluminum worked with MAGMA’s engineering service group to aid in the development of the casting process. The casting was produced in a no-bake sand casting process that involved large iron chills and numerous risers. Initial simulations were carried out with modifications made to reduce filling issues along with ensuring that shrinkage defects would not exist in the casting. This alloy also tends to hot tearing and simulation was used to investigate the development of stresses and strains during solidification and cooling. This led to further rigging modifications and the production of a defect free casting.

Kinetic Hydropower Station (left) and results from the filling simulation of the Al-MAG 535 blade (right)

* Courtesy: Prime Aluminum, USA