Turbulence in High-Flow Tidal Channels

Dr. Alex Hay
January 23, 2020 1:00pm – 2:00pm AST

Dr. Alex Hay, Dalhousie University

As a strong tidal current passes over the rough sea bottom, energetic eddies and random fluctuations develop in the flow. These fluctuations -- generically known as turbulence -- lead to variable forces on tidal turbines, degrading turbine performance and shortening turbine lifespan.

Many of the high-flow tidal channels targeted for in-stream hydro-electric development worldwide are also impacted by surface gravity waves. As these waves propagate against the outgoing tidal current, they grow and break, creating both wave orbital velocities comparable to the tidal current speed, and a source of additional turbulence at the sea surface. The associated flow conditions are complex, highly non-linear, and typically quite nasty, representing an added risk for the tidal power industry. This webinar will summarize results from several on-going research projects in which new generation acoustic Doppler techniques are used to remotely measure turbulence in high-flow tidal channels, under conditions in which waves may or may not be present.

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