Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering 2023 SURE Programs

NAME Project #1:  Power Electronics hardware and software development.

Faculty Mentor:  Timothy J. McCoy,

Prerequisites:  None. 

Desired skills/experience:  Familiarity with Matlab/Simulink, LabView, Solidworks or Autocad is helpful but not required.  An understanding of marine engineering systems including motors/generators, and variable frequency drives is helpful but not required. 

Project Description:  The Marine Engineering Lab has small-scale representations of shipboard machinery systems that are used for both research and teaching.  We are looking for a student or two to develop a 2kW DC-DC power converter to be used for power recirculation in the Marine engineering Lab.  We have a small-scale hardware model of a shipboard power system that currently uses a DC generator and resistive load banks to emulate the ship’s propeller load.  We would like to upgrade the facility to put this power back onto our 3-phase AC main bus, making our testing setup more energy efficient.  We can source commercial solar inverters to do the inversion and synchronization with the AC side but our DC generator which operates from 0-180VDC is not compatible with any commercial inverter’s DC input.  We are looking for a highly motivated student who can tackle the design, construction (2 units), and documentation of a DC-DC power converter.  This is an on-campus-only opportunity.

Research mode:  In Lab (Design work can be done remotely but construction must occur on campus).

NAME Project #2:  Marine Engineering Systems for Autonomous Ship Operation

Faculty Mentor:  Timothy J. McCoy,

Prerequisites:  None. 

Desired skills/experience:  familiarity with Matlab/Simulink, LabView, Solidworks or Autocad is helpful but not required.  An understanding of marine engineering systems including motors/generators, variable frequency drives, diesel engines, control systems instrumentation, pumps, and valves, is helpful but not required.  Specific Roles for students will depend on their skills, experience, and interests.

Project Description:  We are currently building a small-scale hardware lab with representative propulsion, power generation, electrical system, fuel system, and cooling system for an autonomous ship.  The goal of the research is to investigate different approaches to both component technologies and architectures to improve marine system reliability to enable autonomous operation.  The effort includes developing computer simulations of the lab scale hardware and running experiments in the lab to demonstrate techniques for improving overall system reliability.  We are also investigating the impacts on overall mission performance of component failures by introducing failures into the lab system and evaluating the ability of the remaining equipment to meet various missions. 

Research mode:  In Lab and Hybrid are possible.

NAME Project #3: Energy-efficient Marine Propulsion

Faculty Mentor: Anchal Sareen,

Prerequisites:  None. 

Project Description: Recently, propulsors based on the Magnus Effect have received attention from the Society of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Design and Testing due to their high lift forces, and reduced drag, and stall resistance despite the complexity of additional driving mechanisms.  Such propulsion mechanisms based on rotating bluff bodies have also been employed as auxiliary propulsion in ships, for example, E-ship 1, owned by Germany’s Enercon, uses rotating cylinders to aid the ship’s propulsion by means of the Magnus Effect. Previous studies have shown that for the same aspect ratio, rotating cylinders (also called Flettner rotors) exhibit much higher aerodynamic efficiency (lift-to-drag ratio) than traditional airfoil wings, deeming them attractive as potential propulsion devices. The goal of this project is to optimize rotating bluff bodies as a means of energy-efficient marine propulsion devices. This research has the potential to drastically bring down carbon emissions, especially by the shipping industry that still uses “bunker fuel” made from remnants of petrol refining loading with noxious gases and fine particles. Such methods can also be employed for the propulsion of unmanned aerial micro vehicles.

Research Mode: In Lab

NAME Project #4: Design of a no-blade, no-rotor, hydrokinetic energy harvester using fish biomimetics.

Faculty Mentor: Michael M. Bernitsas,

Project Description: Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) energy is abundant with the potential to exceed the present electrical generation in the world. It is clean and omnipresent in water flows in two forms: horizontal (currents, tides, rivers) and vertical (waves). The VIVACE Technology, invented, designed, researched, and tested in the Marine Renewal Energy Lab (MRELab) for over a decade and patented through the University of Michigan, is a unique concept for harnessing MHK energy without using dams or turbines. It is based on fish biomimetics, it is fish-friendly and highly scalable.
The following link provides a short video on the VIVACE Converter:

Project Tasks: The SURE student needed in this project will study the similarities between fish-undulation modes and patterns of oscillation of 3-4 cylinders in interactive Flow-Induced Oscillations (Vortex induced vibrations and galloping) using an OpenFOAM code. Based on experimental data, the working hypothesis is that the maximum power harvesting modes of VIVACE oscillators match fish-undulation modes.

Mandatory Skills: Coding experience Desirable Skills: MATLAB, some exposure to CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and basic fluid mechanics

Research Mode: Online, Remote, Hybrid