CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2021
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

The Anthropocene Institute is a non-governmental organization that drives and facilitates innovation in clean energy to address the urgency of climate change. It supports start-ups and universities to develop emerging and disruptive energy technologies that are clean, safe, and reliable. It is also involved in raising public awareness for ‘one-cent’ electricity as a key goal for the power grid.

The Anthropocene Institute has started to look at aquatic turbines as a promising new type of renewable power generation. However, a major hurdle to overcome is determining the best placement for the turbines that maximizes their power generation and minimizes costs.

When placing a water turbine, many factors have to be considered, including the depth of the water, the velocity of the current, and the distance to the nearest coast. However, current data on oceans and rivers are incomplete, meaning accurate predictions for turbine placement cannot be achieved.

Our Siting of Marine Turbines for Power Generation project solves this issue by using machine learning to fill the gaps of the currently incomplete data. Our models use historical data to predict the water conditions in any area without sufficient data, allowing Anthropocene to give accurate power generation and cost estimates for turbine placement.

Our web application provides an easy-to-use interface designed for policymakers, utilities, and investors who are looking for clean energy solutions. Users simply search for an area, and our application provides them with statistics and recommendations relating to the cost and power generation potential of a water turbine placed in that area.

The machine learning models were developed in Google CoLab, using the scikit-learn library. The user interface is a Flask-based web server with data visualization by the Google Maps API.