Clarissa Belloni

Doctor of Philosophy, Balliol College, University of Oxford, Trinity Term 2013

Hydrodynamics of Ducted and Open-Centre Tidal Turbines

This study presents a numerical investigation of ducted tidal turbines, employing three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations. Bidirectional ducted turbines are modelled with and without aperture, referred to as ducted and open-centre turbines respectively.

The work consists of two investigations. In the first, the turbine rotors are represented by actuator discs, a simplication which captures changes in linear momentum and thus the primary interaction of the turbine with the flow through and around the duct, while greatly reducing computational complexity. In the second investigation, the turbine rotors are represented through a CFD-integrated blade element momentum model, employing realistic rotor data, capturing swirl and blade drag in addition to the extraction of linear momentum.

Both modelling techniques were employed to investigate the performances of bare, ducted, and open-centre turbines, relating these to the flow fields exhibited. For axial flow, substantial decreases in power generated by the ducted and open-centre turbines were found, relative to a bare turbine of equal total device diameter. For open-centre turbines, an increase in aperture size leads to a further reduction in power generated. Increased blockage was shown to positively aect the performance of all devices.

Two further measures of performance were employed: power density, normalising the power by the rotor area, and basin eciency, relating the power generated to the overall power removed from the flow. Moderate increases in power density can be achieved for the ducted and open-centre devices, while their basin eciencies are of similar value to that of the bare turbine.

For yawed in flow, the performance of the bare turbine decreases, whilst that of the ducted and open-centre turbines increases. This is due to an increased flow velocity following flow acceleration around the inlet lip of the duct and also an increase in effective blockage as ducts present greater projected frontal area when approached non-axially.

Thesis (1.5Mb, pdf)