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Asymmetric effects of a modelled tidal turbine on the flow and seabed

Ramírez -Mendoza, R; Murdoch, L.; Jordan, L. B.; Amoudry, L. O.; McLelland, S.; Cooke, R. D.; Thorne, P.; Simmons, S. M.; Parsons, D.; Vezza, M.


R Ramírez -Mendoza

L. Murdoch

L. B. Jordan

L. O. Amoudry

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Dr Stuart McLelland
Deputy Director of the Energy and Environment Institute

R. D. Cooke

P. Thorne

D. Parsons

M. Vezza


The extraction of power from the flow of water has become an important potential source of clean energy. In spite of significant interest in the interaction between energy extraction devices and water currents, comparatively little work has focused on flow asymmetry. Indeed, unusual wake behaviour and limits of turbine array efficiency have typically been attributed to boundary effects rather than the particular turbine geometry. The aim of the present study was to reveal the asymmetries in the hydrodynamic wake and the interactions with the sediment bed due to the presence of a hydrokinetic turbine. We combined: (i) computational fluid dynamics simulations; (ii) optical flow measurements from a series of flume experiments above a fixed rough bed; and (iii) acoustic measurements from a further series of flume experiments above a mobile sand bed. Results showed flow asymmetry due to the presence of the rotor which appeared to be related to the development of the wake and potentially to the gyre of the blades. Suspended sediments in the flume also exhibited asymmetrical characteristics due to the flow asymmetry. This imbalance in the flow field and sediment transport may decrease energy extraction efficiency in turbine arrays and also could have important environmental consequences.


Ramírez -Mendoza, R., Murdoch, L., Jordan, L. B., Amoudry, L. O., McLelland, S., Cooke, R. D., Thorne, P., Simmons, S. M., Parsons, D., & Vezza, M. (2020). Asymmetric effects of a modelled tidal turbine on the flow and seabed. Renewable energy, 159, 238-249.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 23, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 5, 2020
Publication Date 2020-10
Deposit Date May 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2021
Journal Renewable energy
Print ISSN 0960-1481
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 159
Pages 238-249
Keywords Energy; Turbines; Sediments; Tide; CFD; PIV
Public URL
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