A tidal current turbine is a device for harnessing energy from tidal current. A group of tidal current turbines, distributed schematically at a site, is called a tidal turbine farm. A tidal turbine farm has to be located in a confined channel or a straight where consistent high-velocity tidal current flow is available for the cost-effectiveness concern. This narrow geographical condition poses challenges for turbine farm planners to distribute turbines strategically. Turbines’ distribution in a farm affects power generation efficiency and the resultant tidal unit power cost. In this paper, we propose a procedure for predicting energy generation from a tidal turbine farm by investigating the optimal distribution of turbines at a given site. The objective of optimizing the turbines distribution is to maximize the power output efficiency. To fulfill this, we conducted a systematic analysis on power generation from a tidal turbine farm to identify the key factors affecting the optimal tidal turbines distribution with an emphasis on the turbines’ hydrodynamics analysis and briefed the turbine working principle. As a companion paper to Li and Calisal (2007) which discusses the principle of a stand alone turbine, turbine configuration and interactions (i.e. angle of attack, turbine relative distance and turbine size) are extended here. The main assumption of this discussion is that vortex shedding impact is the dominant factor causing the turbine efficiency loss. Considering the turbine design principle, a simplified relationship between turbines distribution and turbine farm efficiency is formulated. Then, numerical simulation results are presented for a given site in British Columbia together with extended general solution.

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