Enhancing performance of a horizontal axis tidal turbine using adaptive blades

Nicholls-Lee, Rachel and Turnock, Stephen R. (2007) Enhancing performance of a horizontal axis tidal turbine using adaptive blades. In, OCEANS 2007 - Europe. USA, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1-6. (doi:10.1109/OCEANSE.2007.4302437).


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Free stream tidal turbines are a source of growing interest in the marine renewable energy field. Some designs use variable pitch blade control devices in order to maximize the efficiency of the turbines; however these are complex to design, construct and maintain under the severe load conditions sub sea devices experience. Adaptive materials have been used in the wind industry to create bend-twist coupled blades in an effort to bring turbine efficiency ever closer to the Betz limit, and increase annual energy capture. This work encompasses a feasibility study, focusing on hydrodynamic performance calculations, wherein the blade geometry is artificially reconfigured as a function of flow velocity. The pressure distribution over the blade is also analysed. The concept of a passively adaptive tidal turbine blade is shown to increase annual energy capture, reduce blade loading and delay cavitation inception.

Item Type: Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1109/OCEANSE.2007.4302437
ISBNs: 9781424406357 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: adaptive systems, cavitation, marine, renewable energy, tidal power generation, turbines
Subjects: T Technology > TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Fluid-Structure Interactions
ePrint ID: 47124
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
18 June 2007Published
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:22
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/47124

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