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Simple Wake Models for Tidal Turbines in Farm Arrangement

[+] Author Affiliations
Moritz Palm, Rene Huijsmans, Mathieu Pourquie

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Anne Sijtstra

BlueWater Engineering, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

Paper No. OMAE2010-20966, pp. 577-587; 11 pages
  • ASME 2010 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering: Volume 3
  • Shanghai, China, June 6–11, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4911-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3873-0
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


From wind turbines it is known that the wake, induced by a turbine, has a negative impact on the energy production of downstream devices. Basically, the wake is a zone with reduced velocity behind a turbine. Further downstream, the velocity recovers gradually by turbulent mixing with the ambient flow. In order to optimize the design of a tidal farm, the aim of this paper is to find simple relations that can be used to predict the energy output of a given farm configuration. The energy output of a turbine depends on its inflow velocity. Therefore, the strategy is to find a model that is able to predict the velocity field in the tidal farm. Such ‘wake models’ exist already for wind turbines and thruster-thruster interaction. In this research, the applicability of these wake models to tidal turbines is investigated by comparing their results to reference data of tidal turbines. Only limited measurement data for tidal turbines are available; therefore a CFD model of a tidal turbine is used to generate the reference data. The velocity in the wake is simulated for different conditions with the CFD model. The CFD model is validated with the available data in the literature. The velocity in the wake for a single turbine is predicted accurately for different initial conditions. Modeling of the turbulence showed some discrepancies in the far wake, consequently the wake of turbines in farm configurations is predicted less accurate. Three wake models, selected from the literature, are compared to the CFD simulations of the wake behind a single turbine. The wind turbine wake model of Jensen performed best; the velocity in the wake is calculated accurate for different situations. Mutual interaction of wakes will occur inside tidal farms. Several methods from wind turbines theory are used to estimate the velocity in interaction situations. Three basic situations of wake interaction are distinguished: tandem operation, wake interference and overlapping inflow. The interaction methods are tested with CFD reference data for each situation separately. Most methods compared reasonably well; the most suitable interaction methods are selected. A small tidal farm case study is performed to test the combination of wake model and interaction methods. The flow in the cluster of 5 turbines is predicted satisfactorily by the wake model for different inflow velocities. All results indicate that the principle of applying wind turbine wake models to tidal turbine has good potential. However the number of test cases conducted in the thesis is limited and the incorrect turbulence modeling of the CFD model caused some uncertainties for multiple turbine situation.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Wakes , Tidal turbines



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