Performance Characterization of a Cross-Flow Hydrokinetic Turbine in Sheared Inflow

Levi Kilcher, Dominic Forbush, Brian Polagye, Jim Thomson, James Donegan, Jarlath McEntee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


A method for constructing a non-dimensional performance curve for a cross-flow hydrokinetic turbine in sheared flow is developed for a natural river site. The river flow characteristics are quasi-steady, with negligible vertical shear, persistent lateral shear, and synoptic changes dominated by long time scales (days to weeks). Performance curves developed from inflow velocities measured at individual points (randomly sampled) yield inconclusive turbine performance characteristics because of the spatial variation in mean flow. Performance curves using temporally- and spatially-averaged inflow velocities are more conclusive. The implications of sheared inflow are considered in terms of resource assessment and turbine control.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)150-161
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Marine Energy
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-66803


  • Cross-flow turbines
  • Performance characterization
  • Resource assessment
  • Sheared inflow
  • Turbulence


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