SPECuWaTT - Structural and Performance Effects of Current and Waves on Tidal Turbine
User Group: University of Sheffield, UK .
Dates of access to LABIMA: October - December 2018.
Project Aims: Oceans are hostile environments for engineered structures. Though similar to oil and gas and offshore wind structures, tidal turbines have unique characteristics, and the effect of a lifetime in this environment is currently not well understood. Such an understanding is crucial to the efficient and cost-effective design of tidal turbines. Furthermore, the effect of waves on the performance of a tidal turbine is not sufficiently well understood. Environments in which tidal turbines are likely to be installed are often subject to highly energetic waves, which impact the performance of the turbine by altering the flow profile reaching the turbine blades, and also impact the structural loading on the turbine support structure.
This study thus aimed to test a scale model of a tidal turbine under the effect of realistic combinations of flow and wave cases and to record the impact on turbine performance and structural deflection of the support structure.
Two real sites were used to generate the input data for this study, one in the Messina Strait in the Mediterranean Sea, and on in the Sound of Islay in the North Atlantic. Hindcast and recorded wave and tidal flow data for these cases was used to establish scale wave and tidal flow cases for each site, under which a 1:81 scale turbine was tested in the LABIMA flume.
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