The Reference Model Project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Program, aims at expediting industry growth and efficiency by providing nonproprietary point designs of marine hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies as Reference Models (RM) for open-source research and development . As part of this program, two reference MHK turbine models were tested at the University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (UMNSAFL) (Fig. 1). This high resolution laboratory investigation provides additional knowledge on the power performance and wake dynamics of two MHK turbine subclasses, axial flow and cross flow turbines. It also provides a robust dataset enabling the evaluation of various computational fluid dynamics models. Recent advancements in computational resources and modeling efforts have proven that when combined with state-ofthe-art experimental capabilities for validation, turbine performance characterization and interactions between MHK devices and the surrounding environment can now be addressed by modeling full-scale deployment scenarios .
RM1 is a 1:40 scale dual-rotor axial flow device with a rotor diameter dT = 0.5 m. It was designed for a tidal current energy reference site modeled after the Tacoma Narrows in Puget Sound, WA . RM2 is a 1:15 scale dual-rotor cross flow vertical axis device with a rotor diameter dT = 0.43 m and rotor height hT = 0.32 m. It was designed for a river current energy site modeled after a reach in the lower Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, LA . Results highlight performance characteristics for each rotor spanning a range of tip-speed ratios. Vertical velocity profiles collected in the wake of each device from 1-10dT are used to characterize the turbulent wake environment.