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Modelling Unsteady Wake Effects in Arrays of Marine Current Turbines

Date: October 15, 2013 at 15:40 GMT

Abstract: We present predictions from a numerical method for modelling wake effects in arrays of tidal current turbines. As developers move from single prototypes towards commercial deployment, the ability to model arrays of devices is becoming increasingly important in optimising array layout, however there is as yet no established methodology suitable for modelling long-range wake effects.

Traditional CFD based on RANS equations fails to sufficiently preserve wake structures due to nonphysical dissipation of the wake vorticity. As such the model employed herein utilises a vorticity conservative formulation of the unsteady Navier- Stokes equations solved using a high resolution CFD framework in which the wake structure is explicitly modelled allowing wake structures to persist for significant distances downstream. 

We present results for small groups of devices in generic array configurations demonstrating the implications of different degrees of device overshadowing at the various ranges likely to be encountered in a practical array setting. 

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