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Physical and numerical modelling of Marine Renewable Energy technologies, with particular focus on tidal stream and tidal range devices

Brammer, James 2014. Physical and numerical modelling of Marine Renewable Energy technologies, with particular focus on tidal stream and tidal range devices. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The past decade has seen a significant rise in the interest of deploying Marine Renewable Energy technologies. Tidal stream technology is developing rapidly, and developers are favouring horizontal axis turbines (HAT’s). However, vertical axis turbines (VAT’s) are better suited for shallow waters, and higher efficiencies can potentially be gained by utilising shallow water blockage effects. The Severn Estuary is an ideal deployment area in this context. Additionally, due to a large tidal range the estuary has long been the subject of tidal barrage proposals. The original ebb-only STPG barrage has recently been superseded by a two-way generation scheme, therefore the need exists for renewed research into the hydrodynamic impacts of this proposal. Furthermore, little is known about the interaction between tidal range and tidal stream technologies, and if they could coexist in the Severn Estuary. This thesis uses physical and numerical modelling techniques to assess a range of MRE technologies, with particular focus on their deployment in the Severn Estuary. Physical model tests of a number of VAT’s were conducted in a recirculating flume. Device performance and the wake characteristics were assessed, and it was demonstrated that VATS’s could potentially provide competitive performance values if deployed in shallow waters. The CFD code ANSYS CFX was used to predict the unsteady turbine behaviour at the physical model scale; good agreement was achieved with the laboratory data, particularly in predicting the wake behaviour. The CFD model TRIVAST was then applied to the Severn Estuary. Comparisons were made of the Severn Barrage schemes, as well as two hypothetical HAT and VAT arrays. The model results confirmed that vertical axis turbines are better suited to the Severn Estuary, provided that the technology is feasible. Finally, whilst the Severn Barrage proposals would eradicate the HAT resource, a lesser impact on the VAT resource was observed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marine renewable energy; Tidal stream turbines; Tidal range technology; Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling; Physical modelling; Severn barrage.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:37

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