Wakes generated downstream turbines are one of the key points to be considered for tidal stream energy farm layout design. Distance between consecutive turbines must be optimized considering available resource spatial distribution and the current velocity reduction caused by upstream turbines. Tidal turbine wake characteristics have been analyzed experimentally and numerically, however, there is still a lack of studies presenting data measured in the wake of large-size turbines in tidal sites.
In this paper, the wake generated downstream of a SIMEC Atlantis Energy 0.5 MW turbine in Naru Strait (Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan) is analyzed using data measured with a vessel-mounted ADCP. This analysis is based on the comparison between data measured before turbine installation (September 2020) and during turbine operation (March 2021, May 2021, and September 2021).
Due to the difficulties that measuring at the same position and the same tide moment with a vessel-mounted ADCP would mean, a direct comparison between these four datasets is unviable. To solve this issue, data were pretreated to calculate a ratio (RD) resulting from the division of current velocity values at every vertical layer by the current velocity measured at the shallowest layer. After that, this ratio is interpolated to a regular 3D mesh. Assuming that the current velocity profile shape for one point does not change with time, resulting RD values interpolated from data measured in different fieldworks can be compared.
The impact of tidal turbine operation on the current velocities is quantified with a variation ratio RV calculated by dividing RD during turbine operation (RD*) by RD before turbine installation (RD). These results show a clear velocity deficit even at 18D from the turbine, which clearly contrasts with results from other similar studies available in the literature, which may be related to the low turbulence intensity measured at the turbine installation point.