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Energies 2017, 10(11), 1838; doi:10.3390/en10111838

Re-Creating Waves in Large Currents for Tidal Energy Applications

School of Engineering, Institute for Energy Systems, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3DW, UK
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Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 10 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Energy)
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Abstract

Unsteady wave loading on tidal turbines impacts significantly the design, and expected life-time, of turbine blades and other key components. Model-scale testing of tidal turbines in the wave-current environment can provide vital understanding by emulating real-world load cases; however, to reduce uncertainty, it is important to isolate laboratory-specific artefacts from real-world behaviour. In this paper, a variety of realistic combined current-wave scenarios is re-created at the FloWave basin, where the main objective is to understand the characteristics of testing in a combined wave-current environment and assess whether wave effects on the flow field can be predicted. Here, we show that a combination of linear wave-current theory and frequency-domain reflection analysis can be used to effectively predict wave-induced particle velocities and identify velocity components that are experimental artefacts. Load-specific mechanisms present in real-world conditions can therefore be isolated, and equivalent full-scale load cases can be estimated with greater confidence. At higher flow speeds, a divergence from the theory presented is observed due to turbulence-induced non-stationarity. The methodology and results presented increase learning about the wave-current testing environment and provide analysis tools able to improve test outputs and conclusions from scale model testing. View Full-Text
Keywords: tidal energy; wave-current interaction; tank testing; wave orbitals; wave reflection analysis tidal energy; wave-current interaction; tank testing; wave orbitals; wave reflection analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Draycott, S.; Sutherland, D.; Steynor, J.; Sellar, B.; Venugopal, V. Re-Creating Waves in Large Currents for Tidal Energy Applications. Energies 2017, 10, 1838.

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