Designing multi-rotor tidal turbine fences
Keywords:Tidal stream turbines, Tidal turbine arrays, Power capping, Tidal turbine design, Blade element theory
An embedded Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes blade element actuator disk model is used to investigate the hydrodynamic design of tidal turbines and their performance in a closely spaced cross-stream fence. Turbines designed for confined flows are found to require a larger blade solidity ratio than current turbine design practices imply in order to maximise power. Generally, maximum power can be increased by operating turbines in more confined flows than they were designed for, although this also requires the turbines to operate at a higher rotational speed, which may increase the likelihood of cavitation inception. In-array turbine performance differs from that predicted from single turbine analyses, with cross-fence variation in power and thrust developing between the inboard and outboard turbines. As turbine thrust increases the cross-fence variation increases, as the interference effects between adjacent turbines strengthen as turbine thrust increases, but it is observed that cross-stream variation can be mitigated through strategies such as pitch-to-feather power control. It was found that overall fence performance was maximised by using turbines designed for moderately constrained (blocked) flows, with greater blockage than that based solely on fence geometry, but lower blockage than that based solely on the turbine and local flow passage geometry to balance the multi-scale flow phenomena around tidal fences.
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