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Turbulence: Best Practice for the Tidal Power Industry. Part 3: Turbulence and turbulent effects in turbine and array engineering.

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The Turbulence in the Marine Environment (TiME) project, for the Carbon Trust, part-funded by the Scottish Government has delivered “Turbulence: Best Practices for the Tidal Power Industry” in three documents: 1. Measurement of turbulent flows 2. Data processing and characterisation of turbulent flows 3. Turbulence and turbulent effects in turbine and array engineering The project mapped the effects that marine turbulence has on tidal power installations and demonstrated a practical and efficient end-to-end process for measuring, characterising and simulating the effect of site-specific turbulence. Assessment of the impact of turbulence on engineering design considerations highlighted the importance of properly accounting for it – especially in considering yield and fatigue lifetimes. In Part 3, ‘Turbulence and turbulent effects in turbine and array engineering’, a framework is presented, which decomposes the problem into individual ‘turbulent effects’, each altering device / array behaviour or performance. Effects are mapped to their engineering implications and where possible, recommendations are made for methods of simulating or otherwise accounting for effects. A general review of techniques for simulation of turbulent environments, as well as reproduction of ‘artificial’ turbulent fields, is given. Current methods are so diverse in implementation that evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses should be considered a broad guideline rather than a detailed comparison. A ‘Regional Ocean Modeling System’ (ROMS) method of simulating tidal array performance in a turbulent environment has been demonstrated, with coupled (‘two-way’) interaction between turbines and the environment. The method has been shown to capture the effect of small scale turbulence on wake dissipation, and the need to explicitly include larger scales of turbulence in such models is highlighted. A ‘Free Vortex Method’ for simulation of an individual turbine in a range of shear profiles and turbulent inlet flows has been demonstrated. The method is shown to capture highly nonlinear wake-turbulence interactions, including, for the first time, the ability to model the effect of different turbulent lengthscales on wake stability, an effect shown to be responsible for up to a 10% variation in yield of an individual device and of significant importance for array interactions. Front End Engineering Design (FEED) considerations are applied to results from the Free Vortex model, giving rise to yield assessments and fatigue loading. Both yield and Fatigue Damage Equivalent Loads (FDELs) are found to vary so extremely with different turbulent conditions that it is concluded that (at the present stage of maturity in the tidal industry), site-specific turbulence assessment should form an integral part of the site development process. It is also shown that such a site-specific process need not be onerous: the FEED study completes the demonstration of an end-to end process of measuring, characterising, modeling and using results in practice, for site-specific evaluation of turbulent effects on devices and arrays. Finally, conclusions and recommendations for a practical approach to managing turbulence are collected and presented. The project team comprised Partrac (measurement); ABPmer (resource characterisation); Ocean Array Systems (turbulence characterisation and hydrodynamic analyses) and IT Power (device design and performance, array modelling).


Ocean Array Systems, Ocean Array Systems



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analysis / testing / R&D, data, efficiency, energy, modelling, performance, turbulence, Document, Scottish Government, construction / installation, feasibility, maintenance, operation, tidal, array, construction, engineering, turbine, testing

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