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Title: Control of an axial flow tidal stream turbine
Author: Whitby, Benjamin
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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Tidal stream turbines have the potential to generate electricity from a renewable source that is highly predictable and non-polluting. The United Kingdom’s geographical location means that it has one of the most significant wave and tidal resources in the world. The implications of controlling horizontal axial flow, variable speed tidal stream turbines for the purpose of optimising energy capture, regulating power and reducing mechanical loads has been investigated. The research was separated into two main areas: control of the turbine in below rated flow speeds where the objective was to maximise energy capture, and control of the turbine in high flow speeds where the aim was to regulate power, shed load and ensure the survivability of the turbine. A control strategy that maximises the power output of a tidal stream turbine in below rated flow speeds, by allowing the rotor speed to be varied, was implemented. The performance of the control strategy was assessed in simulation and then implemented on a hardware in the loop test rig. In both cases the controller performed well and was able to maximise power output from the turbine by varying the rotor speed to maintain the optimum tip speed ratio. Two control strategies for regulating the output power from a tidal stream turbine in high flow speeds were investigated and compared. The first strategy relies on adjusting the pitch angle of the rotor blades to regulate power and the second assumes fixed pitch rotor blades and relies on the stall characteristic of the blades to regulate power. Models of both the pitch and stall regulated turbines were developed and simulated using the commercially available software GH Tidal Bladed®. The control system design behind both strategies was developed in Matlab. Following control implementation a comparison of each model was carried out in terms of performance under turbulent flows, loading and energy yield. Following the comparison it was concluded that the performance of the pitch regulated tidal stream turbine was superior to that of the stall regulated turbine. The research also revealed that the dynamics of each turbine model are significantly different for above rated flow speed operation. This has implications on controller design and loading experienced by each tidal stream turbine.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering