Characterizing Tidal Flows and Turbine Power Production in Petit Passage using Oceanographic and CFD models

Principal Investigators:

Voytek Klaptocz & Timothy Waung, Mavi Innovations Inc., Dr. Richard Karsten, Acadia University; and Greg Trowse, Fundy Tidal Inc.

Start Date: September 2015

End Date: March 2016

The goal of this project was to identify potential turbine deployment locations in Petit Passage NS, using CFD and oceanographic (FVCOM) computer models. To achieve this, the research team validated the computer models against previously collected ADCP data in the Passage.  Several turbine placement configurations were considered within the channel (side by side, offset, and upstream/downstream) in order to calculate and assess how each configuration influenced power generation potential.

The modeling results showed that the flow through Petit Passage accelerates more quickly early in the tidal cycle than predicted by the models.   The consistency between the computer models and ADCP measurements improves later in the tidal cycle when the flow speeds were higher.

The results of CFD simulations with simplified turbines included in the model showed that the power generated at the 6 deployment locations considered, did not vary substantially over the time period simulated, as long as there were no interactions between the turbine wakes as was the case when one turbine was deployed downstream of the other with insufficient spacing.

The six-month long project provided insights on the accuracy of the two computer models and how the modeling work can help in optimizing turbine array design and placement.  A series of recommendations were provided that will lead to improvements in the accuracy of the CFD and FVCOM models with the goal of eventually using these tools for bankable project feasibility studies.

 

Reports

Characterizing Tidal Flows and Turbine Power Production in Petit Passage using Oceanographic and CFD models  – Final Report