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A Numerical Analysis of Bidirectional Ducted Tidal Turbines in Yawed Flow

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The paper presents a computational study of ducted bidirectional tidal turbines using three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations. We model the outer duct as a solid body and use a porous disc to represent the turbine rotor, a simplification that captures changes in linear momentum and thus the primary interaction of the turbine with the flow through and around the duct while greatly reducing computational complexity. The duct is modeled using linearly converging and diverging sections and a short straight pipe at the duct throat.

We investigate the performance of bare and ducted turbines and relate these to the flows through the devices. For the ducted turbine under investigation, we show a substantial decrease in power generated relative to a bare turbine of diameter equal to the external diameter of the duct. In the case of ducted turbines with concave duct exteriors, we observe two external flow regimes with increasing turbine thrust: nozzle-contoured and separation dominated regimes. Maximum power occurs within the separation dominated flow regime due to the additional channel blockage created by the external separation.

The ducts of ducted tidal turbines have been argued to provide a flow straightening effect, allowing modest yaw angles to be readily accommodated. We present a comparison of bare and ducted turbine performance in yawed flow. We show that while bare turbine performance decreases in yawed flow, ducted turbine performance increases. This is due to both a flow straightening effect and also an increase in effective blockage as ducts present greater projected frontal area when approached nonaxially.

Keywords: basin efficiency; ducted turbine; flow separation; tidal turbine; yawed flow

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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