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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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    ID: 17115757