Three dimensional tidal turbine array simulations using OpenFOAM with dynamic mesh

Nuernberg, Martin and Tao, Longbin (2018) Three dimensional tidal turbine array simulations using OpenFOAM with dynamic mesh. Ocean Engineering, 147. pp. 629-646. ISSN 0029-8018

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    Abstract

    The flow field characteristics in the wake of an isolated tidal turbine and tidal turbine arrays of up to four devices is investigated by numerical simulations solving the Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equation in the Open Source OpenFOAM CFD solver to make use of the significantly increased availability of computational resources and multi-core processing. Transient simulations utilizing the k – ω SST turbulence closure model were used in combination with a dynamic mesh interface to account for the rotation of the three bladed tidal turbine at constant tip speed ratio, the applicability of dynamic mesh simulations for the investigation of array wakes has been shown. The velocity and turbulence characteristics are compared to experiments previously conducted with a number of small scale tidal turbine devices arranged in staggered array formations and tested within a low ambient turbulence circulating water channel. Results showed good agreement between simulations and experiments and further insight to the flow field within an array is provided, however further improvements to predict the wake characteristics in array are required.