Rodolfo’s research focus is on tidal turbines for renewable energy. In particular, experiments focus on the enhanced performance of the turbines with the addition of forward-facing winglets or mounted as a tidal array. There is a fully instrumented turbine that is used for the experiments, it measures the torque and thrust at the hub (before the mechanical and electric losses). At the moment a second turbine is being instrumented, and a third one is also being built to act as a dummy for the array. The frame for the turbines was designed using aluminium profiles, and the tests run at the Tow Tank in B185 at Boldrewood Campus that was recently opened (early 2022).
- 9th PRIMaRE Conference – University of Exeter Penryn Campus, UK (July 2022)
- 2nd International Congress on Marine Energy CEMIE-Océano – Instituto de Ingeniería de la UNAM, Mexico City (August 2022)
- 9th International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) – Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain (Oct 2022)
PhD Thesis: An Experimental Study on the Effects of Winglets on the Performance of Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbines
The main focus of the PhD was to test experimentally the influence of adding winglets to marine turbines. Much has been done by simulations, but up to 2020 there had been very few published experimental tests. The company SIMEC Atlantis Energy provided the drawings of one of their turbines, which was scaled down to a ratio of 1:20 to end up with a 1-m diameter turbine tested at a current speed of 0.76 m/s in the towing tank. The outcome of the research was the visualisation of some vortices forming behind the blade/winglet interface when winglets were facing the back.
PhD Sponsor: SENER-CONACYT (Mexican Department of Energy and Mexican National Council for Science and Technology).
As part of the PhD programme, Rodolfo attended the following conferences:
- 4th PRIMaRE Conference – University of Southampton. (July 2017)
- 12th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference – University College Cork, Ireland. (Aug 2017)
- 5th PRIMaRE Conference – University of Bristol, UK. (July 2018)
- 16th Symposium of Mexican Students and Studies in the UK – University of Southampton. (July 2018)
During his PhD Rodolfo undertook 1,000+ hours of demonstrating for different laboratories and workshops:
- CENV2008: Hydraulics. Hydraulic jump laboratory.
- FEEG1002: Mechanics, Structures and Materials workshops.
- FEEG1003: Thermofluids laboratories.
- FEEG1004: Electrical and Electronic Systems laboratories.
- GENG0001 and GENG0002: Mathematics A and B workshops for Foundation Year Students.
- PHYS1017 and PHYS1019: Physics Skills 1 and 2 laboratories.
- SESG3024 Manufacturing and Materials. CES Edupack laboratory.
- SESM6032: Sustainable Energy Systems computer laboratories.
- SESS2015: Hydrodynamics and Seakeeping wave laboratory.
As well as other University activities: Exam Invigilations, Open Days, UCAS Days, Induction days for Civil and Mechanical Engineers, and supporting the Postgraduate and International offices in varied tasks.
Training courses such as technical writing, research methodology, presenting your research, data management, wellbeing, and stress management.
Energy and Climate Change Division, Boldrewood Innovation Campus, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, SO16 7QF