Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif

Abstract

A dive propulsion vehicle (DPV) is a specific type of underwater propulsion module used as a recreational tool to navigate underwater. With an increase in DPV popularity over the past decade, a significant amount of research, design, and development has been conducted to create a variety of commercially offered DPV’s boasting impressive performance numbers. Unfortunately, the cost of these performance-oriented DPV’s can be excessive for the average consumer. Although alternative, more affordable options exist, these DPV’s typically lack the high-performance characteristics most consumers seek. This issue with current commercially offered DPV’s led to further research to identify new methods to improve the performance of underwater propulsion modules at a reduced cost.

The primary goal of this study is to research, design, and develop a compact, high-performance underwater propulsion module that uses an innovative dual-channel nozzle to create additional, potentially efficient, thrust at a reduced cost. This dual-channel nozzle design consists of a primary inner nozzle and secondary outer nozzle that creates a Venturi tunnel between the two nozzles. The thrust generated solely by the inner channel nozzle creates a suction effect in the tunnel between the two channels, allowing for additional freestream fluid to enter the intake of the outer channel nozzle and conjoin with the energized fluid in the inner channel nozzle. This would lead to an increase in mass flow rate exiting the propulsion module, generating additional thrust. The entirety of the propulsion module (channel, nozzles, impellers) was designed and developed from scratch and was 3D printed (excluding mechanical components) to prioritize reduced costs.

Several iterations of this underwater propulsion module were designed, manufactured, and tested to improve the functionality and performance of the module. A complete control system was not implemented in this final prototype. Therefore, all of the tests were completed using a static test apparatus. The dual-channel nozzle design was not proven to generate efficient thrust when the module’s forward velocity is greater than 0; however, the design was proven through significant data and testing to generate additional thrust when the module’s forward speed is equal to 0.

Final Testing Videos.zip (53603 kB)
Final Testing Videos

Available for download on Thursday, January 05, 2023

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