Numerical Study of the Effect of Current Velocity on Power Production by a Horizontal Axis Marine Current Turbine and Feasibility of Using It in the Strait Of Hormuz

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Marine Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Hafez Avenue, 15875-4413 Tehran, Iran


The effect of current velocity on power production by a Horizontal Axis Marine Current Turbine (HAMCT) has been investigated. In this paper, a two-step procedure was used for numerical analysis of the turbine. In the first step, Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEMT) was used to reach an initial configuration for the blades of turbine. Chord and twist distributions along the blade length, and hydrodynamic torque produced by HAMCT were estimated using this theory. Then in the second step, a numerical method based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to achieve a better understanding of the turbine performance and fluid flow characteristics around the blades. Finally, feasibility of using the HAMCT in the Strait of Hormuz was studied. The CFD simulations provided the flow field within the computational domain. Spatial integration of the pressure distribution around the blades yields hydrodynamic torque generated by the HAMCT. The results have also provided the variation of rotor torque with the tidal current velocity. Findings showed that increase in the tidal current velocity to a little more than 2 m/s, increases the torque as the square of the velocity. However, increasing the velocity beyond 2 m/s doesn’t change the torque. In other words, torque remains almost constant because the rotor speed is constant and equal to 11.5 rpm. Finally, it was concluded that by installing a marine power plant which consists of an array of 10 HMCT systems in the Qeshm channel, 10 MW power can be generated.