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An experimental investigation simulating flow effects in first generation marine current energy converter arrays

Myers, L.E. and Bahaj, A.S. (2012) An experimental investigation simulating flow effects in first generation marine current energy converter arrays Renewable Energy, 37, (1), pp. 28-36. (doi:10.1016/j.renene.2011.03.043).

Record type: Article


At present a small number of full-scale marine current energy converters are undergoing sea trials to demonstrate commercial viability of the technology. In order to provide meaningful quantities of electrical power to the grid, the next phase in the development of the technology will be the installation and operation of farms or arrays composed of multiple devices. As most tidal current sites are bi-directional and with bathymetry constraints, array layouts will necessarily take the form of highly optimized geometric configurations with reduced lateral inter-device spacing. This work discusses the concept of array layouts and proposes an appropriate and clear classification that can aid developers in understanding how arrays operate. This classification is supported by experimental studies conducted using several arrangements of multiple actuator disks to simulate early generation marine current energy converter arrays. The work presents quantification of the flow field around a 2-row array, device/device interaction as well as a study of the structure of the far wake region where subsequent devices could be installed. The results highlight an optimal lateral spacing between devices where, under certain conditions flow can be accelerated between a pair of rotor disks. For the work presented here this accelerated region of flow possessed 22% more kinetic energy than the flow far upstream with no measurable negative effect upon the 2 actuator disks. This enhanced flow speed gives rise to the counterintuitive notion of a downstream row of devices producing more power than the upstream row. This will lead to a synergistic effect whereby an array of devices can generate more power than an equivalent number of isolated machines

PDF RenENGY_An_experimental_study_of_flow_effects_within_1st-generation_tidal_turbine_arrays____accepted_draft_.pdf - Author's Original
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PDF RenENGY_An_experimental_study_of_flow_effects_within_1st-generation_tidal_turbine_arrays____accepted_draft_.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 23 July 2011
Published date: January 2012
Keywords: marine current energy converters, wake, array, flow acceleration
Organisations: Civil Engineering & the Environment, Civil Maritime & Env. Eng & Sci Unit


Local EPrints ID: 186897
ISSN: 0960-1481
PURE UUID: 69760931-b4e1-45ee-8543-b96168e695a5
ORCID for L.E. Myers: ORCID iD
ORCID for A.S. Bahaj: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 May 2011 11:15
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:46

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