Application of an Airfoil to the Tidal Turbine Design by Analyzing Two-dimensional Performance in the Water

Chul-hee JO, Kang-hee LEE


The tidal turbine, the first device converting the in-line flow energy into rotational motion, is one of the crucial components that affects the performance of the tidal current power system. The tidal turbine is designed by using BEMT (Blade Element Momentum Theory) developed for wind turbine that has large similarities. But the differences exist in range of Reynolds number and in working fluid that should be considered for tidal turbine design. Since the airfoil profile has been developed for wind turbine, it might contain essential errors in 2-dimensional characteristics. In this study, using validated CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis method with experimental data obtained from flume tank, the 2-dimensional airfoil performance was evaluated considering operating conditions of the tidal turbine for design optimization. Based on the obtained characteristics of the airfoil, the horizontal axis tidal turbine of 10m diameter was designed. Performance of the designed turbine has been analyzed, and the results are summarized in this paper.


Tidal current power, Horizontal axis turbine, Blade element momentum theory, Airfoil, lift-drag ratio, Optimal angle of attack


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