rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

InSTREAM Project Characterizes and Models Turbulence

Posted by Michelle Howard

The recently completed InSTREAM project assessed fundamental differences in turbulent flow measured in the field, generated in a tank and simulated in a numerical model.
To mitigate the risk and uncertainty associated with turbulent flows in tidal channels, developers often use tank experiments and numerical simulations to assess the power and loading performance of a turbine.
However, it remains unclear if these controlled flows can be accurately scaled up to represent the natural turbulence present in tidal channels.

Project Desciption
The difficulty in translating between model, tank and field environments motivated the In-Situ Turbulence Replication, Evaluation And Measurement (InSTREAM) project. The three-year project was conducted by a research consortium comprising six commercial and academic entities in the UK and Canada. The project was given the prestigious EUREKA designation, and was co-funded by the Offshore Energy Research Association and InnovateUK. More information can be found on the Eureka project page.

The main goal of the InSTREAM project was to determine the appropriate scaling between the turbulent flow conditions in a tank and in a tidal channel, so that numerical simulations of such
flows can be used to estimate uncertainties on turbine performance. The project included the development of a sensor system that combined acoustic (Doppler), and non-acoustic (electro-magnetic and shear probe) technology to create a system that could be used in both laboratory and field applications. The system was successfully deployed at the FloWaveTT Energy Research Facility and in the Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy. Numerical simulations - representing the measured tank and field conditions - were then performed.
Key Outcomes
As expected, the InSTREAM project found significant differences between the turbulence characteristics in the tank and in the field. The 3D eddies observed in the field were, in relative terms, about three times larger than those generated in the tank, resulting in considerable differences in power and fatigue loading. A scaling method has been developed to allow direct comparison and translation between the two flow regimes. This scaling greatly increases the usefulness of tank testing and numerical modeling, and can be reproduced for other test tanks. It also allows site-specific field measurements to be translated to tank experiments, enabling numerical models (validated by tank experiments) to be used for reliable and realistic estimation of turbine and array performance.

Mar 13, 2018


Ocean Observation

Nekton Aids Exploring Ocean's Potential

Oliver Steeds, Nekton CEO - Diving into an ocean of possibilities (Photo: Nekton)

Oliver Steeds wants to dive to the depths, of both the oceans and maritime data, to push back the

Autonomous Vessels: FAU Gets $1.25m for Research

Photo: FAU

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science has been awarded a $1.

NOCS: Expedition to Investigate Carbon in the Benguela Upwelling

Photo: NOC

On May 2018 the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery will begin an ambitious science expedition to

Offshore Energy

Total, Novatek Pact for Arctic LNG 2 Project

Image: Total

In the presence of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the President of

Ideol, STX to Develop Next-Generation Offshore Substations

Photo:  Ideol

Ideol and STX Europe Offshore Energy, the well-known EPCIM supplier of substations to the

Benchamas FSO: InterMoor Completes Work

(Photo: InterMoor)

InterMoor has completed work for the installation of the new Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO)

Maritime Apps