This paper presents our recent numerical simulations of a high-solidity Wells turbine under both steady and unsteady conditions by solving Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) equations. For steady conditions, the equations are solved in a reference frame with the same angular velocity of the turbine. Good agreement between numerical simulation result and experimental data has been obtained in the operational region and incipient stall conditions. The exact value of stall point has been accurately predicted. Through analyzing the detailed fluid fields, we find that the stall occurs near the tip of the blade while the boundary layer keeps attached near the hub, due to the effect of radial flow. For unsteady conditions, two types of control methods are studied: constant angular velocity and constant damping moment. For the constant angular velocity, the behaviors of the turbine under both high and low sea wave frequency are calculated to compare with those obtained by quasi-steady method. The hysteresis characteristic can be observed and deeply affects the behaviors of the Wells turbine with high wave frequency. For the constant damping moment, the turbine angular velocity is time dependent. Under sinusoidal flow, the incident flow velocity in the operational region can be improved to avoid the stall.

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