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Tidal Turbine Blade Selection for Optimal Performance in an Array

[+] Author Affiliations
Rachel F. Nicholls-Lee, Stephen R. Turnock, Stephen W. Boyd

University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Paper No. OMAE2011-49943, pp. 739-747; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5: Ocean Space Utilization; Ocean Renewable Energy
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 19–24, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4437-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In order to maximize tidal energy capture from a specific site free stream devices are situated in arrays. In an array the downstream evolution of the wake generated by a rotating tidal energy conversion device influences the performance of the device itself, the bypass flow to either side as well as the performance of any downstream device. As such it is important to design a turbine that can perform efficiently and effectively in these circumstances. Use of passively adaptive composite blades for horizontal axis tidal turbines has been shown to improve performance in fluctuating inflows. Active adaptation and/or bi-directional hydrofoil sections could be implemented in order to optimize performance throughout the tidal cycle. This paper considers the performance in an array of four free stream turbines implementing standard rigid blades, wholly bidirectional blades, passively adaptive blades and actively adaptive blades. The method used to evaluate the performance of tidal current turbines in arrays couples an inner domain solution of the blade element momentum theory with an outer domain solution of the Reynolds averaged Navier Stokes equations. The annual energy capture of four devices with each blade type in a staggered array is then calculated for a single tidal cycle and compared.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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