Lawson, Michael Skylar
21 September 2011
An experimental study on the application of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to measure the deformation and strain of rotating blades is described. Commercial DIC software was used to obtain measurements on three different types of rotors with diameter ranging from 18 to 39 and with varying flexibility to explore applicability of the technique over a breadth of scales. The image acquisition was synchronized with the frequency of rotation such that images could be obtained at the same phase and the consistency of measurements was observed. Bending and twist distributions were extracted from the data with deformation as high as 0.4 measured with a theoretical accuracy of 0.0038 and span-wise resolution of 0.066. The technique was demonstrated to have many advantages including full-field high resolution results, non-intrusive measurement, and good accuracy over a range of scales. The span-wise deformation profiles from the DIC technique are used in conjunction with Blade Element Momentum Theory to calculate the thrust and power consumed by the rotor with rigid vi blades; results are comparable to load cell measurements albeit thrust is somewhat under-predicted and power is over-predicted. Overall, the correlation between DIC calculated thrust and BEMT approximations for comparable blades with constant pitch were within 12% through the onset of stall. Measurement of flexible blade deformation that would not have been possible with other techniques demonstrated the utility of the DIC method and helped to confirm predictions of flexible blade behavior. / text
Allsop, Steven Christopher
The predictable nature of the tides offers a regular, reliable source of renewable energy that can be harnessed using tidal stream turbines (TSTs). The UK's practically extractable tidal stream energy resource has the potential to supply around 7 % of the country's annual electricity demand. As of 2016, the world's first commercial scale arrays have been deployed around the UK and France. The harsh nature of the marine operating environment poses a number of engineering challenges, where the optimal turbine design solution remains under investigation. In this thesis, a numerical model is developed to assess the power production and hydrodynamic behaviour of horizontal axis tidal turbines. The developed model builds upon well established and computationally efficient Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEMT) method for modern three-bladed wind turbines. The main novel contribution of this thesis is extending the application to an alternative design of a ducted, high solidity and open centre TST. A validation study using measurements from multiple different scale model experimental tank tests has proven the applicability of the model and suitability of the imposed correction factors. The analytical modifications to account for ducted flow were subsequently indirectly verified, where predictions of turbine power and axial thrust forces under optimal operating speeds were within 2 % of those using more advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods. This thesis presents a commercial application case of two turbines designed by OpenHydro, examining the BEMT performance with a sophisticated blade resolved CFD study. A comparison of results finds that the model is capable of predicting the average peak power to within 12 %, however it under predicts thrust levels by an average of 35 %. This study concludes that the model is applicable to ducted turbine configurations, but is limited in capturing the complex flow interactions towards the open centre, which requires further investigation. The computational efficiency of the newly developed model allowed a structural analysis of the composite blades, thus demonstrating it is suitable to effectively evaluate engineering applications. Stresses are seen to be dominated by flap-wise bending moments, which peak at the mid-length of the blade. This tool will further enable EDF to perform third party assessments of the different turbine designs, to aid decision making for future projects.
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Purpose - The paper presents a theoretical framework that describes the aerodynamics of a falling maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) seed. --- Methodology - A semi-empirical method is developed that provides a ratio stating how much longer a seed falls in air compared to freefall. The generated lift is calculated by evaluating the integral of two-dimensional airfoil elements using a preliminary falling speed. This allows for the calculation of the definitive falling speed using Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEMT); hereafter, the fall duration in air and in freefall are obtained. Furthermore, the input-variables of the calculation of lift are transformed to require only the length and width of the maple seed. Lastly, the method is applied to two calculation examples as a means of validation. --- Findings - The two example calculations gave percentual errors of 5.5% and 3.7% for the falling speed when compared to measured values. The averaged result is that a maple seed falls 9.9 times longer in air when released from 20 m; however, this result is highly dependent on geometrical parameters which can be accounted for using the constructed method. --- Research limitations - Firstly, the coefficient of lift is unknown for the shape of a maple seed. Secondly, the approximated transient state is yet to be verified by measurement. --- Originality / Value - The added value of this report lies in the reduction of simplifications compared to BEMT approaches. In this way a large amount of accuracy is achieved due to the inclusion of many geometrical parameters, even though simplicity is maintained. This has been accomplished through constructing a simple three-step method that is fundamental and essentially non-iterative.
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