A Study of Wake Characteristics of Marine Turbine Arrays: Preprint

Thanh Toan Tran, Jonathan Craig, Hannah Ross

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As the marine energy industry continues to develop and installations grow from single turbines to small arrays and larger farms, understanding and predicting wake behavior using modeling tools is necessary for array design and optimization. The wake characteristics of upstream turbines, including velocity deficit, wake swirling, tip vortices, wake shape and direction, and flow recovery, influence the inflow conditions experienced by downstream turbines in an array and, subsequently, affect the individual turbine loading and power generated by the array. These wake characteristics are influenced by many factors, including site geography, inflow shear profile, turbulence, waves, the strength of the current resource, gravitational forces, storm surges, and seasonal effects like temperature and wind conditions. Efficient array modeling tools that capture these wake effects and resulting turbine-to-turbine interactions need to be developed to optimize farm layouts and design individual turbines for operation within arrays. Unlike the wind industry, the marine energy research community is largely limited to the use of either numerical tools or tank/flume testing to understand marine turbine wake interactions. This paper will investigate recent advances in numerical and experimental marine turbine wake modeling, with a focus on recent publications and on both axial-flow and cross-flow marine turbines. A summary of recent research on these topics is provided. Additionally, a demonstration of turbine wake interactions using computational fluid dynamics is presented.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2023
EventUMERC 2023 Conference - University of New Hampshire
Duration: 4 Oct 20236 Oct 2023


ConferenceUMERC 2023 Conference
CityUniversity of New Hampshire

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-87246


  • marine hydrokinetic turbine
  • marine turbine array
  • tidal farm optimization
  • wake modeling
  • wave interaction


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