Numerical Analysis of an Axial Flow Horizontal Axis Marine Hydrokinetic Turbine
PAREKH, AARSHANA RAJEEV
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Tidal energy extraction using marine hydrokinetic devices has become an important area of research in the renewable energy field in recent years because of the highly predictable nature of the tides. Due to its early stage of development, many studies need yet to be done before deployment of these devices at tidal sites. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the turbine performance and wake properties before determining the array arrangement for tidal farms. In this thesis, flow behavior in the wake of a counter-rotating dual rotor horizontal axis tidal turbine is studied by numerically solving the Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) Equations. The rotational effects of the turbine are modeled using the sliding mesh technique. The realizable k-epsilon model is employed to solve the closure problem. The methodology is validated against experimental data measured in open channel tests conducted at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory of the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratory, to investigate the turbine efficiency and the physical dynamics of the wake. The transient performance of the turbine is predicted with good accuracy using the sliding mesh model, with some level of disagreement found in predicting the velocity deficit in the flow. The limitations of accurately predicting the turbulent flow properties for the turbine are addressed and the sliding mesh technique is proven to capture effectively the different coherent structures in the wake. The qualitative agreement of the method suggests that this model can be used to explore turbine design and wake characteristics over various parameters in a cost-effective manner. This method can also provide critical parameters needed for designing efficient tidal farms.
- Mechanical engineering