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Modelling tidal stream turbines in a three-dimensional wave-current fully coupled oceanographic model

Li, Xiaorong; Li, Ming; McLelland, Stuart J.; Jordan, Laura Beth; Simmons, Stephen M.; Amoudry, Laurent O.; Ramirez-Mendoza, Rafael; Thorne, Peter D.


Xiaorong Li

Ming Li

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Dr Stuart McLelland
Interim Co-Director of the Energy and Environment Institute

Laura Beth Jordan

Laurent O. Amoudry

Rafael Ramirez-Mendoza

Peter D. Thorne


© 2017 The Author(s) A tidal turbine simulation system is developed based on a three-dimensional oceanographic numerical model. Both the current and turbulent controlling equations are modified to account for impact of tidal turbines on water velocity and turbulence generation and dissipation. High resolution mesh size at the turbine location is assigned in order to capture the details of hydrodynamics due to the turbine operation. The system is tested against comprehensive measurements in a water flume experiment and results of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The validation results suggest that the new modelling system is proven to be able to accurately simulate hydrodynamics with the presence of turbines. The developed turbine simulation system is then applied to a series of test cases in which a standalone turbine is deployed. Here, complete velocity profiles and mixing are realized that could not have been produced in a standard two-dimensional treatment. Of particular interest in these cases is an observed accelerated flow near the bed in the wake of the turbine, leading to enhanced bottom shear stress (∼2 N/m 2 corresponding to the critical stress of a range of fine gravel and finer sediment particles).


Li, X., Li, M., McLelland, S. J., Jordan, L. B., Simmons, S. M., Amoudry, L. O., …Thorne, P. D. (2017). Modelling tidal stream turbines in a three-dimensional wave-current fully coupled oceanographic model. Renewable energy, 114, 297-307.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 13, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2017
Publication Date 2017-12
Deposit Date Aug 26, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 28, 2018
Journal Renewable Energy
Print ISSN 0960-1481
Electronic ISSN 1879-0682
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 114
Pages 297-307
Keywords Tidal stream energy; Three-dimensional; Oceanographic model
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Copyright Statement
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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