Assessing the Dynamic Loading of Tidal Stream Turbine Arrays Through the Use of Computational Fluid Dynamics

Student: Rob Ellis
Industrial Partners: Airborne, Airborne CompositesANSYS, ARUP, Lloyd’s Register, National Instruments, Nautricity, ORE CatapultRexroth, and Tidal Energy Ltd.
Academic Partners: Mississippi State University (USA), Dalhousie University (CAN), Inha University (KOR), and Strathclyde University (GBR).

The aim of the work is to look at the fluctuating loads that a tidal stream turbine is subject to when both the combined effect of the current and waves are considered. The majority of the work will be conducted using computational fluid dynamics and will be validated using experimental work. Both the experimental and the numerical modelling will be carried out using a scale model. After fully characterising a single turbine in a variety of flow conditions then array based scenarios will be modelled. By looking at both a single turbine and array based turbines then it should begin to show how the loading on the turbines varies dependent upon the interactions within the array coupled with the wave/current effects.

Looking at the effect of the wake from an upstream turbine on the downstream turbine.

Comparison of the old blade (left) and the new blade design (right).

Numerical modelling techniques to predict rotor imbalance problems in tidal stream turbines.

Scientific Poster: