Tidal power technology has been dwarfed once to take hold in the late 1970’s, because the early generations were expensive at small scale and some applications (such as barrages) had negative environmental impacts. In a similar working manner as a wind turbine, a tidal current turbine has been recognized as a promising ocean energy conversion device in the past two decades. However, the industrialization process is still slow. One of the important reasons is lack of comprehensive turbine hydrodynamics analysis which can not only predict turbine power but also assess impacts on the surrounding areas. Although a lot can be learned from the marine propeller or the wind turbine studies, a systematic hydrodynamics analysis on a vertical axis tidal current turbine has not been reported yet. In this paper, we employed vortex method to calculate the performance of stand-alone vertical axis tidal turbine in term of power efficiency, torque and forces. This method focuses on power prediction, hydrodynamics analysis and design, which can provide information for turbines distribution planning in a turbine farm and other related studies, which are presented in Li and Calisal (2007), a companion paper in the conference. In this method, discrete vortex method is the core for numerical calculation. Free vortex wake structure, nascent vortex and vortex decay mechanism are discussed in detail. Good agreements in turbine efficiency comparison are obtained with both the newly-designed tidal turbine test in a towing tank and early wind turbine test.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.