Tidal Energy


Hodograph showing direction and strength of the tidal flow. The first 5 days are the black lines and the shaded gray area represents the full 18 year forecast.
Research update: Forecasting Tidal Flows

For example tidal data, simulation results around Portland Bill have been used, this site has a significant swing from the 180º flow reversal, allowing comparisons between fixed orientation and yawing devices. The variation of depth-averaged speed over 28 days from the simulation is shown in the first figure. The T_TIDE package for MATLAB was used […]


Predicted velocity field around 3 rows of marine current turbines

Initial simulations of arrays of tidal turbines have been performed using FLUENT a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package. The use of CFD allows analysis of several possible farm simulations with different boundary conditions. Details of these initial simulations have been published in: Batten W.M.J. and Bahaj A.S. (2006) CFD simulation of a small farm of horizontal […]


Image of programme flow chart

SERG-Tidal is a tidal turbine prediction program developed at the University of Southampton is based on a blade element momentum (BEM) program for wind turbines initially developed in the late 1980’s at the university by Barnsley & Wellicome. The new code developed has major enhancements specifically established to deal with the operation in water and […]


3D rotor in cavitation tunnel
Research update: 3D rotor tests : Phase 2

As a continuation of the first set of tests to provide further detailed design information and validation date for numerical models a new experimental test rig was developed. This test rig has been designed, built and successfully used to measure power and thrust on model tidal turbines under various configurations and flow conditions. The setup […]


Cavitation of a prototype single rotor marine current generator in circulating water channel, QinetiQ.

A scale model a horizontal axis marine current turbine was tested at the circulating water channel facility at QinetiQ in Hampshire. The model was scaled such that the ratios of the rotor diameter/water depth and the blade tip speed/inflow speed were equal to that of a full scale device. The three bladed rotor depicted was […]


Tidal flows around Portland Bill headland. Colour scale is in m/s and vectors show direction and relative magnitude of the velocity field.  Rectangle shows the approximate area with highest average flow speed (actually highest mean cube speed).

Portland Bill on the South coast of the UK (view in maps.live.com) is a promising site for tidal stream energy, with high tidal stream velocities of up to seven knots (3.6 m/s) around the headland. Although the area with high tidal streams is smaller than other proposed sites in Scotland or the Channel Islands, the […]


Image of developed cavaition
Research update: 2D Blades Tests

Section performance data, which also include cavitation characteristics, are required for the detailed design of the turbine blades. It is found that suitable published data, with cavitation characteristics, are very limited and that there is a need to establish a better understanding of the cavitation performance of 2-D sections suitable for marine turbines. It is […]


Plan view of the full array. (Grids represent 1km)

The Race of Alderney lies between the channel island of Alderney and Cap de la Hague on the West coast of France. It is a large site and has the possibility of feeding electricity into the channel Island of French mainland grids. The Race is approximately 4 miles wide and there are large areas with […]