Inaugural US-EU-China Thermophysics Conference-Renewable Energy 2009 (UECTC 2009 Proceedings)
17 Effects of Flexible Vanes on the Hydrodynamic Characteristics of Tidal Stream Turbine with Flexible Vanes
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This paper presents a new type of tidal stream turbine. One of the most striking differences of the novel device from the existing ones is the use of flexible vanes, which can be made of flexible materials, such as canvas, plastic foil. The flexible vanes deform continuously to adapt to liquid, therefore, will show convex or concave form in different position of the rotor respectively. In this way, the resultant forces acting on the vanes produce a same directional torque during the entire rotational cycle of rotor. So the flexible vanes turbine has hydrodynamic performances with low starting velocity, high extraction coefficient and so on. As the primary component of a tidal stream turbine, the flexible vanes will affect the hydrodynamic characteristics of the turbine dramatically. The performance maybe varies with the fixation methods and forms of the vanes. A model of 420mm diameter turbine with various types of vanes was made. Then a water tank experiment was achieved. Results show that the models perform as expected and the effects of flexible vanes are quite obvious. Based on analysis of the results, an optimal scheme of the flexible vanes turbine having higher coefficient of power and power generation capacity is proposed.