Performance and wake characteristics of a tidal turbine under yaw
Keywords:Tidal turbine, Yaw, Wake propagation, Wake analysis
In tidal streams and rivers, the flow of water can be at yaw to the turbine rotor plane causing performance degradation and a skewed downstream wake. The current study aims to quantify the performance variation and associated wake behavior caused by a tidal turbine operating in a yawed inflow environment. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics study was carried out using multiple reference frame approach using κ-ω SST turbulence model with curvature correction. The computations were validated by comparison with experimental results on a 1:20 scale prototype for a 0° yaw case performed in a laboratory flume. The simulations were performed using a three-bladed, constant chord, untwisted tidal turbine operating at uniform inflow. Yaw effects were observed for angles ranging from 5° to 15°. An increase in yaw over this range caused a power coefficient deficit of 26% and a thrust coefficient deficit of about 8% at a tip speed ratio of 5 that corresponds to the maximum power coefficient for the tested turbine. In addition, wake propagation was studied up to a downstream distance of ten rotor radius, and skewness in the wake, proportional to yaw angle was observed. At higher yaw angles, the flow around the turbine rotor was found to cushion the tip vortices, accelerating the interaction between the tip vortices and the skewed wake, thereby facilitating a faster wake recovery. The center of the wake was tracked using a center of mass technique. The center of wake analysis was used to better quantify the deviation of the wake with increasing yaw angle. It was observed that with an increase in yaw angle, the recovery distance moved closer to the rotor plane. The wake was noticed to meander around the turbine centerline with increasing downstream distance and slightly deviate towards the free surface above the turbine centerline, magnitude of which varied depending on yaw.
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