Prediction of the Wake Behind a Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine Using a LES-ALM

  • Pablo OuroEmail author
  • Magnus Harrold
  • Luis Ramirez
  • Thorsten Stoesser
Part of the Springer Tracts in Mechanical Engineering book series (STME)


A large-eddy simulation-actuator line method (LES-ALM) applied to a single horizontal axis tidal turbine is presented and validated against experimental data. At a reasonable computational cost, the LES-ALM is capable of capturing the complex wake dynamics, such as tip vortices, despite not explicitly resolving the turbine’s geometry. The LES-ALM is employed to replicate the wake behind a laboratory-scale horizontal axis turbine and achieves a reasonably good agreement with measured data in terms of streamwise velocities and turbulence intensity. The turbine is simulated at six tip speed ratios in order to investigate the rate of decay of velocity deficit and turbulent kinetic energy. In the far-wake, these quantities follow a similar decay rate as proposed in the literature with a −3/4 slope. For cases when the turbine spins at or above the optimal tip speed ratio, the levels of turbulent kinetic energy and wake deficit in the far-wake are found to converge to similar values which seem to be linearly correlated. Finally, transverse velocity profiles from the simulations agree well with those from an analytical model suggesting that the LES-ALM is well-suited for the simulation of the wake of tidal stream turbines.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Supercomputing Wales project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Welsh Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Ouro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Magnus Harrold
    • 2
  • Luis Ramirez
    • 3
  • Thorsten Stoesser
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Engineering, Hydro-environmental Research CentreCardiff UniversityCardiffUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical SciencesUniversity of ExeterPenrynUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Group in Numerical Methods in EngineeringUniversity of A CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  4. 4.Civil, Environmental and Geomatic EngineeringUniversity College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

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