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Model testing and performance comparison of plastic and metal tidal turbine rotors

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Pengfei LiuORCiD


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© 2015. Experimental model tests were conducted to predict the performance of two sets of metal and plastic bi-directional tidal turbine rotors. This test programme aims to provide reliable and accurate measurement data as references for developers, designers and researchers on both model and full scale. The data set presented in this paper makes available the detailed geometry and motion parameters that are valuable for numerical tools validation. A rotor testing apparatus that was built using an off-the-shelf K&R propeller dynamometer, its configuration, testing set-up, calibration of the apparatus and data acquisition are described. Comparison analysis between the metal and plastic rotors hydrodynamic performance in terms of torque, drag and derived power and drag coefficients are also presented. The results show a substantial decrease in maximum power performance for the plastic rotors - about 40% decrease at a tip speed ratio of around 3.0, compared with rigid metal rotors. The plastic rotors have also a much higher cut-in speed. It showed that materials for rotor models with low rigidity such as polyamide (nylon) produced by selective laser sintering (SLS) systems may substantially under-predict power generation capacity. As a result, they are considered unsuitable for rotor model performance evaluation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Liu P, Bose N, Frost R, Macfarlane G, Lilienthal T, Penesis I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Ocean Research

Year: 2015

Volume: 53

Pages: 116-124

Print publication date: 01/10/2015

Online publication date: 28/08/2015

Acceptance date: 10/08/2015

ISSN (print): 0141-1187

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1549

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.apor.2015.08.002


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