Bi-directional Tidal Turbine

The Problem

The rapidly growing worldwide demand for renewable energy provides an unparalleled opportunity for development of new high performance technologies with efficiency and cost being the main driving factors. Tidal power features highly in this mix where methods are applied to convert the potential and kinetic energy stored in a tidal fluid flow into useable electric power. This high profile project was initialised to capitalise on this growing demand through the development of a new type of bi-directional turbine suitable for tidal power applications.

The Approach

The development of this new type of energy conversion device required the application of advanced CFD analysis with the goal of increasing the efficiency and performance of the initial design. Arbitrary moving/sliding interfaces within static computational meshes were utilised which allowed a full transient simulation to be carried out in order to study the interaction between the moving elements within the turbine.

The Result

The CFD analysis of this device progressed rapidly which enabled the efficiency of the hydro turbine to be increased from an initial 65% efficiency to above 90% by careful adjustment of the turbine blade design. Further studies are underway to fine tune the device with further increases in efficiency expected.