2022 article

Increased Energy Conversion with a Horizontal Axis Turbine in Translation


By: R. Metoyer n, M. Bryant n, K. Granlundt n & A. Mazzoleni n

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: marine hydrokinetic energy; translating turbine; momentum theory; renewable energy
Source: Web Of Science
Added: March 13, 2023

When fixed to the ground by tower or stanchion, horizontal axis turbines convert hydrokinetic power into electric power by passively exploiting the difference in velocity between the ground and a flowing fluid. This method of converting the available hydrokinetic power is relatively simple, but the maximum amount of power that may be converted to another form by the turbine has a theoretical upper limit, called the Betz limit, which is about 59.25% of the hydrokinetic power in a stream tube of the freestream flow with a cross sectional area equal to the area of the turbine rotor plane. The work presented demonstrates that eschewing the stanchion and making the turbine to translate through the fluid enables conversion of more hydrokinetic power and, when operated in a cyclical mode, more energy over a cycle. It is demonstrated with momentum theory that the maximum energy that may be converted over a cycle is 1.5 times the Betz limit for an equivalent ground-fixed stationary turbine in the same low. Following the theoretical analysis, the concept is proven by simulation for a non-ideal turbine using an engineering design tool developed by the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The results show that a realistic, non-ideal translating turbine can convert over twice as much power as an equivalent stationary turbine. Additionally, a notional tidal current application is presented where the bidirectionality of flow is exploited to achieve energy conversion of more than twice the theoretical limit of an ideal stationary turbine.