Laying the foundations for the commercial development of tidal turbine arrays
Understanding the interaction and the impact of the arrays on the flow field will be crucial when determining the best layout of farms to maximise energy capture and minimise loading. In their work to map the flow field around such a tidal turbine, the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton has been using a Nortek Vectrino.
The image shows a 1/20th-scale horizontal axis tidal turbine installed in a large water channel facility. The experimental work was led by the Sustainable Energy Research Group, part of the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton. Funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board the project also involved Garrad Hassan Ltd who were responsible for the development of a numerical model to predict the flow effects around single and multiple arrangements of tidal turbines.
Flow mapping in the downstream wake flow was conducted using a Vectrino+ sampling at 50 Hz, which can be seen to in front of the turbine. The near wake was extremely turbulent and several methods of supporting the probe were attempted to prevent lateral motion ‘bowing’ of the support arm. The final solution involved large amounts of carbon rod, tube and vortex damping strips. 3-dimensional flow maps were acquired using the Vectrino over a period of several weeks.