With many Tidal Energy Conversion (TEC) devices at full scale prototype stage there are two distinct design groups for Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbines (HATTs). Devices with a yaw mechanism allowing the turbine to always face into the flow, and devices with blades that can rotate through 180 to harness a strongly bi-directional flow. As marine turbine technology verges on the realm of economic viability this paper reveals the performance of Cardiff University's concept tidal turbine with its support structure either upstream or downstream and with various proximities between the rotating plane of the turbine and its support stanchion. Through the use of validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling this work shows the optimal proximity between rotor plane and stanchion as well as establishing, in the given context, the use of a yaw mechanism to be superior to a bi-directional system from a performance perspective.
Frost, C., Morris, C. E., Mason-Jones, A., O'Doherty, D. M., & O'Doherty, T. (2015). The effect of tidal flow directionality on tidal turbine performance characteristics. Renewable Energy, 78, 609-620. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2015.01.053