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Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine Performance CFD Simulation (Validation)

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The present project validates the “Performance of horizontal axis tidal current turbine by blade configuration” article using ANSYS Fluent.

This product includes a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Description

Project Description

The present project simulates the rotational water flow around the blades of the horizontal axis water turbine using ANSYS Fluent software and the result is compared and validated with the results of the article “Performance of horizontal axis tidal current turbine by blade configuration”. There are two areas around the blades for water flow; Thus, an area is considered as a cylindrical shape just around the blades and a rectangular cube area with a larger scale around this cylinder.

The water flow in the outer rectangular cube space travels as a horizontal transfer flow at a velocity of 1 m.s-1 to the body of the water turbine; Therefore, by colliding the water flow to the turbine blades and creating a torque force on the blades, a rotational motion is obtained in the turbine blades, which causes a rotational flow for the surrounding water around blades in the cylindrical region. The frame motion technique is used to simulate the rotation of the turbine blades; Thus, it is assumed that the blades are fixed and the water around the blade rotates relative to the fixed blades.

Therefore, for the cylindrical region, the frame motion mode is defined by defining a rotational speed of 191 rpm around the central horizontal axis of the turbine.

Tidal Turbine Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in three dimensions; Thus, the sections related to the turbine blades are in the form of airfoil type S814, the coordinates of the points around its curvature are obtained from the airfoil tools site and the output is taken in the form of a notepad file. Due to the fact that the airfoil section of the blades decreases or increases at different blade sections (at different distances from the central axis of the turbine) by a certain scale (based on the length of the airfoil chord), each airfoil section as a set of points with coordinates are imported and drawn in SOLIDWORKS software at a certain angle and distance from the central axis.

These sections, which include 16 sections, are then imported to the Design Modeler software for integrated blade design. In design modeler software, modeling is done in such a way that for the desired turbine, 3 blades are drawn and in the space around the turbine blades, a special cylinder is created to make a circulating water flow and a rectangular cube space is designed as a space for free water flow. Geometrical information about turbine blades, including the chord size of each airfoil section of the blade and its angle of inclination with respect to the central axis, is presented in Table 3 of the mentioned paper.

The figure below shows the geometry.

horizontal axis

The meshing of the model was done using ANSYS Meshing software and the mesh type is unstructured. To increase the accuracy of meshing, the boundary layer mesh is used on the surfaces of the turbine blades and the element number is 4270222. The following figure shows the mesh.

horizontal axis

Tidal Turbine CFD Simulation Setting

To simulate the present model, several assumptions are considered:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady. Because the present water turbine is of the horizontal axis type and as a result, time will not affect the hydrodynamic forces.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

A summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution is given in the following table:

Models (Tidal Turbine)
k-omega Viscous model
SST k-omega model
Boundary conditions (Tidal Turbine)
Velocity inlet Inlet type
1 m.s-1 velocity
Pressure outlet Outlet type
0 Pa gauge pressure
wall Walls type
stationary wall all walls
Solution Methods (Tidal Turbine)
Simple   Pressure-velocity coupling
Second order upwind pressure Spatial discretization
Second order upwind momentum
Second order upwind turbulent kinetic energy
Second order upwind turbulent dissipation rate
Initialization (Tidal Turbine)
Standard Initialization method
-1 m.s-1 velocity (z)

Paper Results Validation

At the end of the solution process, the amount of turbine power (P) is calculated based on the amount of torque applied to each of the turbine blades (T) and, consequently, the amount of pressure coefficient applied to its blades (Cp) is obtained by the software. Then, it has been compared and validated with similar values in the article. This comparison and validation process is based on the data in Table 2 of the article. In fact, some of the data in the table are considered as input data or reference values and based on them, the final value of torque and pressure coefficient is obtained.

The formulas related to power and pressure coefficient based on the article are as follow, and the comparison of the results of the present CFD work with the results of the paper is presented in the table below.

Turbine Power Formula (tidal turbine)

horizontal axis

Formulation of Pressure Coefficient on Turbine Blades

Comparison and Validation with the Article

design parameters (Tidal Turbine)
symbol paper present CFD Simulation
rated power

[w]

Prated 36.23 30.78
estimated power coefficient Cp 0.4 0.34
rated current velocity [m.s-1] Urated 1 1
efficiency coefficient η 0.9 0.9
sea water density [kg.m-3 ] ρ 1025 1025
turbine diameter (m) D 0.5 0.5
blade number N 3 3
angular speed (rpm) ω 191 191

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.

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