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Robust validation of a generalised actuator disk CFD model for tidal turbine analysis using the FloWave ocean energy research facility
Renewable Energy, Volume: 190, Pages: 232 - 250
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Coupled blade element momentum-computational fluid dynamic (BEM-CFD) approaches have been extensively used to study tidal stream turbine performance and wake development. These approaches have shown to be accurate when compared to tests conducted in tow-tanks or in regulated flumes with uniform flow...
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Coupled blade element momentum-computational fluid dynamic (BEM-CFD) approaches have been extensively used to study tidal stream turbine performance and wake development. These approaches have shown to be accurate when compared to tests conducted in tow-tanks or in regulated flumes with uniform flows across the turbine. Whilst such studies can be very useful, it is questionable as to what extent the results would differ in a larger scale environment where the flow is more representative of real-world conditions, being either unsteady or non-uniform. In this work, the effectiveness of a generalised actuator disk-computational fluid dynamics (GAD-CFD) approach in accurately capturing fluid-machine interaction for single and multiple tidal energy converters models is further assessed. A unique large-scale experimental facility, FloWave, has been used to conduct physical testing of three instrumented model tidal energy converters of rotor diameter 1.2 m under differing turbine layouts and realistic scaled environmental conditions. These large-scale tests provide a unique dataset against which this work's numerical simulations have been extensively validated. Comparisons between the tank and GAD-CFD approach show good agreement, particularly when comparing modelled to measured thrust, and enabled an evaluation of the effects of turbine spacing and arrangement on turbine performance and flow-field response.
FloWave, GAD-CFD, Blade element momentum, Tidal energy, Tidal turbine, Horizontal axis turbine
College of Engineering
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded “Extension of UKCMER Core Research, Industry and International Engagement” project (EP/M014738/1), and the SURFTEC SuperGen grand challenge project, funded under EPSRC grant (EP/N02057X/1) and the SELKIE project funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.