An efficient numerical framework for the assessment of free surface effects on crossflow tidal turbines

Milo Feinberg, Pal Schmitt, James Donegan, Jarlath McEntee

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


Cross-flow turbine technology is an interesting alternative to the more common horizontal axis turbine design for tidal or river flow environments. One important feature of marine hydrokinetic turbines operating in shallow water is the interaction with the free surface. Blockage can increase power output dramatically and must be accounted for accurately during the designprocess. However, the simulation of cross flow turbines is already computationally demanding due to the complex flow features and standard free surface simulation tools like the Volume of Fluid method would further increase the computational burden. Most simulations thus employ a slip surface condition, neglecting the complex interactions between the free surface deformation and blockage. This paper presents the application of a new numerical wave current tank to efficiently take free surface effects into account. First results show significant differences between cases employing the slip surface and the new numerical flume for power output and lift and drag coefficients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC 2019): Proceedings
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
EventEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 01 Sep 201906 Sep 2019
Conference number: 13


ConferenceEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference
Abbreviated titleEWTEC
Internet address


  • cross-flow turbine, computational fluid dy- namics (CFD), blockage, free surface effects


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