Numerical Modeling of Tidal Turbine Behaviour under Real Turbulent Tidal Flow Conditions

Researchers investigated and numerically quantified the behaviour of a tidal turbine under turbulent unsteady tidal flow, using flow data collected in the lower Bay of Fundy (Digby area). The outcomes help tidal turbine manufacturers to more accurately estimate the amount of energy a given turbine will produce in a specific tidal site. This project modeled and studied, using fully transient simulations, the turbulent flow over a generic 3-blade horizontal axis tidal turbine subjected to tidal flow inlet velocities to determine turbine behaviour under real turbulent tidal flow conditions.  This numerical study sheds more light in lowering the turbine power rating (Cp) and power production and provides additional insight into the wake dynamics; leading to a comparison of steady vs unsteady flow wakes encountered in real tidal flow environment.


Principal Investigators: Dr. Dominic Groulx, Nicholas Osborne Dr. Alex Hay, and Justine McMillan, Dalhousie University

December 2015 – December 2016