Development and Verification of a Computational Fluid Dynamics Model of a Horizontal-Axis Tidal Current Turbine

Michael J. Lawson, Ye Li, Danny C. Sale

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

72 Scopus Citations

Abstract

This paper describes the development of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology to simulate the hydrodynamics of horizontal-axis tidal current turbines (HATTs). First, an HATT blade was designed using the blade element momentum method in conjunction with a genetic optimization algorithm. Several unstructured computational grids were generated using this blade geometry and steady CFD simulations were used to perform a grid resolution study. Transient simulations were then performed to determine the effect of time-dependent flow phenomena and the size of the computational timestep on the numerical solution. Qualitative measures of the CFD solutions were independent of the grid resolution. Conversely, quantitative comparisons of the results indicated that the use of coarse computational grids results in an under prediction of the hydrodynamic forces on the turbine blade in comparison to the forces predicted using more resolved grids. For the turbine operating conditions considered in this study, the effect of the computational timestep on the CFD solution was found to be minimal, and the results from steady and transient simulations were in good agreement. Additionally, the CFD results were compared to corresponding blade element momentum method calculations and reasonable agreement was shown. Nevertheless, we expect that for other turbine operating conditions, where the flow over the blade is separated, transient simulations will be required.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages711-720
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
EventASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE2011 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011

Conference

ConferenceASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE2011
Country/TerritoryNetherlands
CityRotterdam
Period19/06/1124/06/11

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-50981

Keywords

  • marine hydrokinetic technology
  • ocean energy
  • tidal current turbines
  • water power

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