Detailed flow measurement of the field around tidal turbines with and without biomimetic leading-edge tubercles

Shi, Weichao and Atlar, Mehmet and Norman, Rosemary (2017) Detailed flow measurement of the field around tidal turbines with and without biomimetic leading-edge tubercles. Renewable Energy, 111. pp. 688-707. ISSN 0960-1481

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    Abstract

    This paper focuses on implementing detailed flow measurement using advanced Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system to investigate the flow mechanism of leading-edge tubercles on tidal turbine blades. Two approaches have been applied: one is 2D PIV to map the flow separation around the blade sections at different radial positions; and the other is Stereo PIV to conduct a volumetric measurement in the wake field to reveal the tip vortex development and also velocity distribution. The research presented in this paper further demonstrates that the leading-edge tubercles can enable the flow to remain attached to the blades and weaken the three dimensional effect which can lead to efficiency loss or the so-called "tip loss". Based on these phenomena that have been observed and concluded from the tests, the mechanism by which leading-edge tubercles can provide additional torque and thrust for a tidal turbine has been explained within this paper.