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Bobpixel August 30, 2012 18:08

Paddle Wheel Design
Hi, CFD'rs!

Hopefully I'm posting this in the correct category.

I cannot find reference to any advances in propulsive paddlewheel design for over one hundred years. Why does this matter, and what am I asking for?

I design and build human-powered kinetic sculptures. A common event type would be organized as a race and parade over land and water. Many artists simply slap a few flat boards on a bicycle wheel, giving them a somewhat mushy propulsion system.

I've been building models and doing some small scale testing of more complex blade shapes. It appears to me that some significant advances in efficiency and power are possible beyond the flat blade or even the articulated paddlewheel. I can't really decipher the results I'm getting and desire a more quantitative result. Will one of you be interested in helping?

I've got a couple of models built in Autodesk Inventor that I will be posting.

This is a freebie project, and possibly ongoing. I'll be protecting the design using the Open Source Hardware license agreement so that other artists can learn from what we discover. There are possible applications for our work, such as non-fouling boat propulsion and new methods of materials processing.

To conclude:

1) where should I post this thread? (It's not really freelance...)
2) Who would want to run a few simulations on some models?

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