Modelling Tidal Turbine Wakes Using Hybrid Turbulence Models

Student: Tim Ebdon

The ability to accurately model the wakes of tidal stream turbines is crucial if tidal energy is to fulfil its promise of low-carbon, reliable renewable energy. However, the close proximity of tidal turbines grouped together into arrays means that there will be inter-turbine interactions. A full understanding of turbine wakes is crucial for array layout optimisation, both from the point of view of power extraction, as well as having implications for structural loading of turbines due to turbulent fluctuations in the wake region. To-date most computational modelling of turbines and wakes has been carried out using Reynolds-Averaged Turbulence models, but theses have been shown to have limited accuracy in the wake region. This research investigates a hybrid RANS-LES turbulence model to see whether it offers advantages over a pure RANS model in terms of accuracy, whilst not being as computationally expensive as a pure LES model.

Merging of the wake predicted from simulations with photos from the flume testing.


Flume testing at IFREMER in France.

Simulating marine current turbine wakes with advanced turbulence models.
Modelling tidal turbine wakes using hybrid RANS-LES turbulence models.
Modelling the effects of integral length scale on tidal turbine wakes using advanced turbulence models.

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