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Research Statement

The Tidal Turbine Testing (TTT) project series at Queen’s University Belfast is an InvestNI funded research through the Centre for Sustainable Renewable Energy (CASE). The project series began in 2013, investigating the performance of two 1.5m diameter rotors with generic blade profiles. In the latest phase of the project TTT 3 the turbines feature the Schottel Hydro SIT50 blade profile machined from aluminium and scaled to form the 1.5m diameter rotors.

The key findings of the TTT 3 work highlighted the significance of the control strategy when stepping from the regulated flow environment of the towing tank to the unregulated, dynamic flow environment of the tidal test site. The work has delivered results to the sector, independently validating power and thrust performance results of a single turbine in both the controlled laboratory and uncontrolled flows of a tidal environment. The adaptation and advancement of processing techniques in line with international specifications for power assessment and uncertainty of tidal turbines has been disseminated to the sector.

With the development of new processing techniques and testing methodologies the project has been extended to investigate the close interaction of two tidal turbines in the marine environment, TTT3.5. To maximise the power density of tidal platforms, the near-filed interaction of devices must be understood. In-line and in-plane interactions and their significance will facilitate multi-turbine platform developers to optimise their designs.

This on-going research is using two 1.5m diameter tidal turbines and a range of acoustic Doppler instruments (ADP and ADVs). The research platform was designed and commissioned by QUB with the support of Cuan Marine Services (CMS) Ltd. The platform enables the turbines to be located within a working area enabling up to 2.5D in-plane spacing and 4D in-line spacing. The onset flow is captured upstream of the platform and for each turbine. This versatile setup will aid the research team in determining the special and temporal relationship between near-proximity turbines in the marine environment.

The research is being undertaken by QUB’s Marine Energy Research Group with industry partners Applied Renewable Research (ARR) Ltd, CNR-INSEAN, OceanEnergy, Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) and Schottel Hydro.


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Research Output

Knowledge gaps around crossflow tidal turbines

Gallagher, R., Whitaker, T., Frost, C., Schmitt, P., Young, C. & Doran, J., 27 Mar 2020.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Mitigating Uncertainty in Tidal Turbine Performance Characteristics from Experimental Testing

Frost, C., Benson, I., Elsäßer, B., Starzmann, R. & Whittaker, T., 01 Jan 2018, 12th European Wave & Tidal Energy Conference: Proceedings.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • The Effect of Control Strategy on Tidal Stream Turbine Performance in Laboratory and Field Experiments

    Frost, C., Benson, I., Jeffcoate, P., Elsaesser, B. & Whittaker, T., 12 Jun 2018, In : Energies. 11, 6, 16 p., 1533.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
    146 Downloads (Pure)

    The specification of and testing of a Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine Rotor Monitoring approach. | PHM Society

    Allmark, M., Prickett, P., Grosvenor, R. & Frost, C., 31 Aug 2018, In : international journal of prognostics and health management. 9, 025, p. 9

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Assessment of Flow Characteristics at Two Locations in an Energetic Tidal Channel

    Torrens-Spence, H., Schmitt, P., Frost, C., Benson, I., MacKinnon, P. & Whittaker, T., 01 Aug 2017, Proceedings of the Twelfth European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • Prizes

    Ocean Energy Systems Blue Energy Collaboration Scholarship

    Carwyn Frost (Recipient) & Udara Rathnayake (Recipient), 27 Mar 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Press / Media

    Tidal Energy and Northern Ireland

    Carwyn Frost


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Tidal Turbine Testing - Strangford 2018

    Carwyn Frost, Ian Benson & Trevor Whittaker


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities