Kinetic energy extraction of a tidal stream turbine and its sensitivity to structural stiffness attenuation

C.e. Morris, Daphne O'Doherty, T. O'Doherty, Allan Mason-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The hydrodynamic forces imparted on a tidal turbine rotor, whilst causing it to rotate and hence generate power, will also cause the blades to deform. This deformation will affect the turbine's performance if not included in the early design phase and could lead to a decrease in power output and a reduction in operational life. Conversely, designing blades to allow them to deform slightly may reduce localised stress and therefore prolong the life of the blades and allow the blades to deform in to their optimum operational state. The aim of this paper is to better understand the kinetic energy extraction by varying the material modulus of a turbine blade. Shaft torque/power, blade tip displacement, and axial thrust results are presented for 2, 3 and 4 bladed rotor configurations at peak power extraction. For the rotor design studied the FSI model data show that there is a low sensitivity to blade deformation for the 2, 3 and 4 bladed rotors. However, the results reveal that the 3 bladed rotor displayed maximum hydrodynamic performance as a rigid structure which then decreased as the blade deformed. The 2 and 4 bladed rotor configurations elucidated a slight increase in hydrodynamic performance with deflection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-39
JournalRenewable energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • CFD
  • FEA
  • Tidal stream turbine
  • FSI
  • TST
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Fluid Structure Interaction
  • Finite Element Analysis


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