Experimental study on the effects of surface gravity waves of different wavelengths on the phase averaged performance characteristics of marine current turbine

Monday, 15 December 2014
Luksa Luznik, Ethan Lust and Karen Ashby Flack, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, United States
There are few studies describing the interaction between marine current turbines and an overlying surface gravity wave field. In this work we present an experimental study on the effects of surface gravity waves of different wavelengths on the wave phase averaged performance characteristics of a marine current turbine model. Measurements are performed with a 1/25 scale (diameter D=0.8m) two bladed horizontal axis turbine towed in the large (116m long) towing tank at the U.S. Naval Academy equipped with a dual-flap, servo-controlled wave maker. Three regular waves with wavelengths of 15.8, 8.8 and 3.9m with wave heights adjusted such that all waveforms have the same energy input per unit width are produced by the wave maker and model turbine is towed into the waves at constant carriage speed of 1.68 m/s. This representing the case of waves travelling in the same direction as the mean current. Thrust and torque developed by the model turbine are measured using a dynamometer mounted in line with the turbine shaft. Shaft rotation speed and blade position are measured using in in-house designed shaft position indexing system. The tip speed ratio (TSR) is adjusted using a hysteresis brake which is attached to the output shaft. Free surface elevation and wave parameters are measured with two optical wave height sensors, one located in the turbine rotor plane and other one diameter upstream of the rotor. All instruments are synchronized in time and data is sampled at a rate of 700 Hz.

All measured quantities are conditionally sampled as a function of the measured surface elevation and transformed to wave phase space using the Hilbert Transform. Phenomena observed in earlier experiments with the same turbine such as phase lag in the torque signal and an increase in thrust due to Stokes drift are examined and presented with the present data as well as spectral analysis of the torque and thrust data.