Date of Award

8-2012

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Michael L. Peterson

Second Committee Member

Huijie Xue

Third Committee Member

Richard Kimball

Abstract

Understanding the flow pattern around hydrokinetic devices is important for the development of tidal energy technology. The objective of the research is to provide the wake characteristics from laboratory measurements, including wake structure, and flow recovery in the near and far fields of a cross-flow turbine. The data can be used to assist in optimization of an array of turbines by providing experimental results for numerical models validation and industrial developers of tidal energy. Another critical use of this data will be to provide a basis for parameterization of energy extraction in coastal ocean models in resource assessment. The experimental flow field measurements presented were obtained in a tow tank. Measurements were performed with an Acoustic Doppler Velocity meter on a scale model of a cross-flow turbine. The turbine was operated near the predicted optimum efficiency with varying solidity and tip speed ratios. The shape and recovery of the wake were seen in the near field and the decay of the induced turbulence was observed to continue into the far field. This work represents a step toward the full characterization of the flow patterns induced by the cross-flow turbine with near and far field effects.

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