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Characterisation of the Coastal Hydrology of Oceans Using 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics

Date: November 05, 2013 at 15:12 GMT

Knowing the characteristics of the current is necessary in order estimate the energy a tidal stream turbine (TST) could extract from a site. These characteristics are strongly influenced by the topography of the seabed. Often in locations of fast currents, which are ideal sites for TSTs, there is significant detail in the bathymetry. Modelling of the flow in an estuary or a channel therefore offers a challenge as a large domain is required to reduce the influence of the boundary assumptions but this leads to problems resolving the effects of the bathymetry on the flow and turbulence.
This paper describes a computational fluid dynamics model of a potential TST deployment site. The bathymetry of the deployment site was surveyed using an echosounder and the resulting data was used in the development of the geometric detail. Two different turbulence models (k-e and LES) were investigated and the simulation results were then compared with the flow data gathered by Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) survey. Despite some simplifications in the model, the result showed good agreement with the real site data. 

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