Efficient prediction of tidal turbine fatigue loading using turbulent onset flow from Large Eddy Simulations

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Mullings et al - Efficient prediction of tidal turbine fatigue loading using turbulent onset flow from LES - JOEME 2024[72]
Mullings et al - Efficient prediction of tidal turbine fatigue loading using turbulent onset flow from LES - JOEME 2024[72]

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ABSTRACT

To maximise the availability of power extraction from a tidal stream site, tidal turbines need to be able to operate reliably when located within arrays. This requires a thorough understanding of the operating conditions, which include turbulence, velocity shear due to bed proximity and roughness, ocean waves and due to upstream turbine wakes, over the range of flow speeds that contribute to the loading experienced by the devices. High-fidelity models such as Large Eddy Simulation (LES) can be used to represent these complex flow conditions and turbine device models can be embedded to predict loading. However, to inform micro-siting of multiple turbines with an array, the computational cost of performing multiple simulations of this type is impractical. Unsteady onset conditions can be generated from the LES to be used in an offline coupling fashion as input to lower-fidelity load prediction models to enable computationally efficient array design. In this study, an in-house Blade Element Momentum (BEM) method is assessed for prediction of the unsteady loads on the turbines of a floating tidal device with unsteady inflow developed with the in-house LES solver DOFAS. Load predictions are compared to those obtained using the same unsteady inflow to the commercial tool Tidal Bladed and from an Actuator Line Model (ALM) embedded in the LES solver. Estimates of fatigue loads differ by up to 3% for mean thrust and 11% for blade root bending moment for a turbine subject to a turbulent channel flow. When subjected to more complex flows typical of a turbine wake, the predictions of rotor thrust fatigue differ by up to 10%, with loads reduced by the inclusion of a pitch controller.

AUTHORS & AFFILIATIONS

Published: 08 May 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40722-024-00328-y

CONTRIBUTIONS

HM—modelling, writing—original draft, review and editing. LA—modelling, review and editing. CM—review and editing. PO—modelling, writing—original draft, review and editing. TS—funding acquisition, writing—original draft, review and editing.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR

Correspondence to Hannah Mullings.