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Title: Hydrodynamic analysis of a tidal cross-flow turbine
Author: Consul, Claudio Antonio
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 8600
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This study presents a numerical investigation of a generic horizontal axis cross-flow marine turbine. The numerical tool used is the commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics package ANSYS FLUENT 12.0. The numerical model, using the SST k-w turbulence model, is validated against static, dynamic pitching blade and rotating turbine data. The work embodies two main investigations. The first is concerned with the influence of turbine solidity (ratio of net blade chord to circumference) on turbine performance, and the second with the influence of blockage (ratio of device frontal area to channel crosssection area) and free surface deformation on the hydrodynamics of energy extraction in a constrained channel. Turbine solidity was investigated by simulating flows through two-, three- and four-bladed turbines, resulting in solidities of 0.019, 0.029 and 0.038, respectively. The investigation was conducted for two Reynolds numbers, Re = O(10^5) & O(10^6), to reflect laboratory and field scales. Increasing the number of blades from two to four led to an increase in the maximum power coefficient from 0.43 to 0.53 for the lower Re and from 0.49 to 0.56 for the higher Re computations. Furthermore, the power curve was found to shift to a lower range of tip speed ratios when increasing solidity. The effects of flow confinement and free surface deformation were investigated by simulating flows through a three-bladed turbine with solidity 0.125 at Re = O(10^6) for channels that resulted in cross-stream blockages of 12.5% to 50%. Increasing the blockage led to a substantial increase in the power and basin efficiency; when approximating the free surface as a rigid lid, the highest power coefficient and basin efficiency computed were 1.18 and 0.54, respectively. Comparisons between the corresponding rigid lid and free surface simulations, where Froude number, Fr = 0.082, rendered similar results at the lower blockages, but at the highest blockage an increase in power and basin efficiency of up to 7% for the free surface simulations over that achieved with a rigid lid boundary condition. For the free surface simulations with Fr = 0.082, the energy extraction resulted in a drop in water depth of up to 0.7%. An increase in Fr from 0.082 to 0.131 resulted in an increase maximum power of 3%, but a drop in basin efficiency of 21%.
Supervisor: Willden, Richard H. J. ; McCulloch, Malcolm Sponsor: EPSRC ; Oxford Martin School
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ocean and coastal engineering ; tidal stream turbines ; cross-flow turbines ; hydrodynamics