Effects of Stream Turbine Array Configuration on Current Energy Extraction Near an Island

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 9:00 AM
Yaling Chen, Binliang Lin and Jie Lin, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Enhanced tidal currents close to an island appear to present the potential for power extraction. In this research, a three-dimensional numerical model is employed to predict the tidal current energy extraction potential from turbine arrays near an island. One of the significant challenges is to determine an optimal configuration of turbine array. This paper presents a detailed work to investigate the combined influences of topographic features and array configuration on the performance of power generation. Three single row arrays and three multiple-row arrays, with turbines being arranged in a staggered manner, are examined. It has been found that a single row array with a relatively small spacing between two turbines could achieve good efficiency due to the blockage effects, whereas a larger lateral spacing gives a better performance for multi-row arrays. The reason is that the bypass flow in a staggered layout would results in shadowing effect on downstream turbines. Model results also show that the wake influence can be minimized by increasing not only the longitudinal spacing, but also the lateral spacing. The tidal current flows are shown to have been affected by the inclusion of turbines, with less fluctuant wave in a tidal cycle. The extents of the observed impacts are not only within the turbine array field, but also moving around the island and propagating to the far-field. This study can be used to provide the reference information of the commercial-scale farms for tidal energy development.

Keywords: Tidal currents; Array configuration; Energy extraction; Hydrodynamic process