, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 185-192
Date: 22 May 2013

CFD simulation of fixed and variable pitch vertical axis tidal turbine

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In this paper, hydrodynamic analysis of vertical axis tidal turbine (both fixed pitch & variable pitch) is numerically analyzed. Two-dimensional numerical modeling & simulation of the unsteady flow through the blades of the turbine is performed using ANSYS CFX, hereafter CFX, which is based on a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) model. A transient simulation is done for fixed pitch and variable pitch vertical axis tidal turbine using a Shear Stress Transport turbulence (SST) scheme. Main hydrodynamic parameters like torque T, combined moment C M , coefficients of performance C P and coefficient of torque C T , etc. are investigated.

The modeling and meshing of turbine rotor is performed in ICEM-CFD. Moreover, the difference in meshing schemes between fixed pitch and variable pitch is also mentioned. Mesh motion option is employed for variable pitch turbine. This article is one part of the ongoing research on turbine design and developments. The numerical simulation results are validated with well reputed analytical results performed by Edinburgh Design Ltd. The article concludes with a parametric study of turbine performance, comparison between fixed and variable pitch operation for a four-bladed turbine. It is found that for variable pitch we get maximum C P and peak power at smaller revolution per minute N and tip sped ratio λ.

Foundation item: This research is financially supported by National “863” Program (Grant No.2007AA05Z450, No. 200805040), National S&T Program (No.2008BAA15B04), 2010 National Ocean Special Funds (No.ZJME2010GC01, No. ZJME2010CY01, No.GHME2010GC02). And it is supported by the Fundamental Research Funds of the Universities (No.HEUCF130105). And it is also supported by “111 project” foundation (No. B07019) from State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China and Ministry of Education of China.
Qihu Sheng was born in 1974. He received his PhD Degree in Fluid Mechanics from Harbin Engineering University.He is an associate professor at Harbin Engineering University. His current research interests include hydrodynamics, ocean renewable energy utility technology, design and analysis on mooring system of ocean energy power station.
Syed Shah Khalid was born in Peshawar Pakistan. He is a PhD candidate at Shipbuilding College, Harbin Engineering University. His current research interests include CFD, renewable energy & structural analysis of marine structures.
Zhimin Xiong is a senior engineer. He is engaged in the professional: wind turbine system, photovoltaic power system, wind turbine system. His research interests include wind power, new energy, etc.
Liang Zhang is a renowned Professor and PhD supervisor at Shipbuilding College. He is also the Vice Director of Deep water Research Center at Shipbuilding College, Harbin Engineering University. His current research interests include fluid mechanics, renewable energy, off-shore hydrodynamics & development of tidal turbines.