CFD Analysis and Optimisation of Tidal Turbine Arrays Using OpenFOAM\(^{\textregistered }\)

  • G. R. TaborEmail author


Tidal estuaries represent a significant and accessible source of renewable energy for modern society. The regular nature of the tides makes this a valuable resource to exploit. Tidal turbines that extract energy from tidal currents would be one way to do this. The shallow nature of estuaries suggests that these would need to be low power units linked together in large farms, and the modelling and optimisation of such farms of turbines is a significant challenge. In this chapter, I report on a major research effort to model a possible turbine, the AquaScientific Lift/Drag turbine, and the development from this of a simplified CFD model, the Immersed Body Force method, to allow for simulation of small arrays. Following from this, I report on the development of surrogate modelling techniques to allow the prediction of outputs from larger arrays and optimisation using Genetic Algorithm techniques.



This work has involved a significant number of collaborators, too many to list as co-authors on the paper. On the CFD side, this has involved Dr. Mulualem Gebreslassie, Dr. Matt Berry and Mr. Ben Ashby; the optimisation involved Prof. Dragan Savic, Dr. Michele Guidolin, Dr. Helena Mala Jetmarova and Mr. Ogaday Willers Moore, and the project led by P.I. Prof. Mike Belmont. Experimental work was overseen by Prof. Ian Bryden and Dr. Tom Bruce at the FloWave facility at Edinburgh University. The work was funded by the EPSRC (Optimal Design of Very Large Tidal Stream Farms; for Shallow Esturine Applications) and the Laing Foundation.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEMPSUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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