Assessment of arrays of in-stream tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy

R. Karsten, A. Swan and J. Culina – Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 2013


Theories of in-stream turbines are adapted to analyse the potential electricity generation and impact of turbine arrays deployed in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy. Linear momentum actuator disc theory (LMADT) is combined with a theory that calculates the flux through the passage to determine both the turbine power and the impact of rows of turbine fences. For realistically small blockage ratios, the theory predicts that extracting 2000–2500 MW of turbine power will result in a reduction in the flow of less than 5 per cent. The theory also suggests that there is little reason to tune the turbines if the blockage ratio remains small. A turbine array model is derived that extends LMADT by using the velocity field from a numerical simulation of the flow through Minas Passage and modelling the turbine wakes. The model calculates the resulting speed of the flow through and around a turbine array, allowing for the sequential positioning of turbines in regions of strongest flow. The model estimates that over 2000 MW of power is possible with only a 2.5 per cent reduction in the flow. If turbines are restricted to depths less than 50 m, the potential power generation is reduced substantially, down to 300 MW. For large turbine arrays, the blockage ratios remain small and the turbines can produce maximum power with a drag coefficient equal to the Betz-limit value.



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