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Energies 2013, 6(8), 4117-4133;

Design of a Novel Experimental Facility for Testing of Tidal Arrays

School of Engineering, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 12 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy from the Ocean - Wave and Tidal Energy)
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In order to obtain the maximum amount of energy from tidal stream extraction devices, deployment in large arrays should be studied. The area of seabed with favorable conditions is fairly limited; therefore layout spacing has to be optimized. In this paper a feasibility study for a novel experimental facility, suitable for the testing of an array of tidal devices, is presented. To avoid space and scale limitations of towing tanks, testing is proposed to be performed in large lakes or calm seas using a self-propelled vessel, which will carry an array of devices with variable spacing, creating relevant speed differences and measuring their performance and loading. Using hydrodynamic scaling laws, an appropriate size for test turbines and the range of vessel speed was determined to fulfill experimental requirements. Computational fluid dynamic simulations, using the actuator disc method, have suggested a suitable turbine array configuration to resemble real application conditions. A simplified model of the vessel was analyzed using the finite elements method to determine the main scantlings. The hull resistance calculated by empirical formulae was found to be negligible compared to the resistance of the tested turbine. It was confirmed that turbine size and speed determined by scaling laws are also reasonable from a propulsion point of view. View Full-Text
Keywords: tidal stream turbine; wake interaction; experimental vessel; tidal farm; array optimisation tidal stream turbine; wake interaction; experimental vessel; tidal farm; array optimisation

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Pintar, M.; Kolios, A.J. Design of a Novel Experimental Facility for Testing of Tidal Arrays. Energies 2013, 6, 4117-4133.

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