On validating numerical hydrodynamic models of complex tidal flow

Kester Gunn and Clym Stock-Williams – International Journal of Marine Energy, November 2013


The construction of numerical hydrodynamic models is an important task for offshore renewable energy development, in particular for tidal current farms. An accurate understanding of the spatial variation in resource is necessary for optimally locating fixed measurement devices and turbines, as well as planning site operations.

This work presents a comprehensive methodology for the validation of numerical models in two and three dimensions. First, alternative methods practised in the literature for both time-domain and frequency-domain comparison are assessed and compared. Next, certain novel extended methods are presented for the validation of 3D data, which is not often attempted in the literature. In particular, the shear profiles encountered in real high-velocity sites do not often follow the traditional logarithmic laws, so a new parameterisation is presented and tested.

Finally, acoustic Doppler profiler (ADP) data are analysed and used in a case study validation exercise of a 3D hydrodynamic model of the Fall of Warness in the Orkney Islands, UK. Conclusions are drawn about the validity of the model, as well as the methodology applied.



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Filed under Field Measurements, Modeling, Resource Characterization

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