Mabey Bridge – Tidal Device Support Structures

Marine turbines are situated in harsh environments, in order to reduce the impact of the environment on the operational life span of a turbine the interaction between the various marine forces and the support structure, blades and transmission must be understood.

The focus of the research is using ANSYS (FLUENT, CFX & Mechanical) software to facilitate the transient modelling of a generic turbine and structure based on current industrial designs and then applying boundary conditions to simulate the environmental equivalent.

FSI analysis consists of a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model and a Finite Element Model (FEA) model. The hydrodynamic forces on the structure are derived from the satisfactory convergence of the CFD model. These forces are then applied to the same geometry in the FEA model which in turn will then calculate the resulting displacements of the geometry. This will conclude one coupling loop and the next will begin with the distorted geometry being re-meshed in the CFD model in preparation of repeating the process.

The deliverables for this research consist of improving turbine performance in line with more realistic environmental modelling. Informing the sector on parameters that impact life prediction and fatigue of key components in transmission. Structural design considerations will compare performance and fabrication restrictions, in line with Mabey Bridge Ltd‘s expertise.