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Energies 2017, 10(5), 726; doi:10.3390/en10050726

Effects of Support Structures in an LES Actuator Line Model of a Tidal Turbine with Contra-Rotating Rotors

Institute of Energy Systems, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3HL, Scotland, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Fernando Porté-Agel
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017

Abstract

Computational fluid dynamics is used to study the impact of the support structure of a tidal turbine on performance and the downstream wake characteristics. A high-fidelity computational model of a dual rotor, contra-rotating tidal turbine in a large channel domain is presented, with turbulence modelled using large eddy simulation. Actuator lines represent the turbine blades, permitting the analysis of transient flow features and turbine diagnostics. The following four cases are considered: the flow in an unexploited, empty channel; flow in a channel containing the rotors; flow in a channel containing the support structure; and flow in a channel with both rotors and support structure. The results indicate that the support structure contributes significantly to the behaviour of the turbine and to turbulence levels downstream, even when the rotors are upstream. This implies that inclusion of the turbine structure, or some parametrisation thereof, is a prerequisite for the realistic prediction of turbine performance and reliability, particularly for array layouts where wake effects become significant. View Full-Text
Keywords: tidal; turbine; contra-rotating; LES; turbulence; actuator; line tidal; turbine; contra-rotating; LES; turbulence; actuator; line
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Creech, A.C.W.; Borthwick, A.G.L.; Ingram, D. Effects of Support Structures in an LES Actuator Line Model of a Tidal Turbine with Contra-Rotating Rotors. Energies 2017, 10, 726.

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