This study focuses on surveying different turbulence models and dynamic mesh techniques to simulate a marine hydrokinetic (MHK) crossflow turbine at Rec ≈ 7,000. While several research projects have shown that studies of MHK devices in low Re flow could still yield interesting and significant results, existing computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations were conducted at the chord based Re of 105 ∼ 106. The wake and power production of a laboratory-scaled MHK crossflow turbine were numerically simulated and compared with relevant experimental data. The vertical axis turbine operated in a small flume with 20% blockage ratio and was fabricated by mounting three NACA0012 (2.54 cm chord length) straight blades at a radius of 3.41 cm and 15° pitch angle. Within OpenFOAM environment, blade-resolved models were built with Spalart-Allmaras, k-omega shear stress transport (SST), and k-kl-omega unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulation (URANS) in both two and three dimensions. Results from each model were compared with the experimental power measurement and flow field obtained by monoscopic particle image velocimetry (2D PIV). Additionally, four different techniques for moving the solid boundaries (turbine blades) in the unsteady simulation were presented and compared in terms of solution consistency and required computational power. Overset mesh, time-deforming mesh, and moving immersed boundary are all available in this open source environment, beside the common rotating mesh technique, and possess the potential to be applied to a more complicated configuration of turbines.

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