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Numerical modelling of tidal energy devices and structures as part of net zero

Hanousek, Nicolas ORCID: 2023. Numerical modelling of tidal energy devices and structures as part of net zero. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The world is in search of ways in which to counter the growing energy demands arising from the growing global population and electrification to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. A key component of this is the electrical network, which must be supplied in a manner that is both low-carbon, secure, and affordable. Major investment has been placed into wind and solar generation; however, these technologies lack the relative dispatchability and predictability that ensures security and affordability of the future energy network. Tidal energy, with tidal range using the gravitational potential from the elevation changes, tidal stream utilising tidal flows, and riverine energy, are highly predictable. These methods have dispatchable forms that could have a transformative potential on a global scale. However, challenges around cost effectiveness and environmental impact have stymied uptake and development. To model a numerically challenging turbine, a new method of representation of vertical axis devices was developed and applied to a prototype concept. A 2D Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics method using the open-source software DualSPHysics, was applied to the Cardiff University CarBine and found to effectively reproduce device behaviour, without the need for prescribed motion. Though the method still lacks the ability to extract power from the device and thus develop power performance metrics, self-start behaviour using only hydrodynamic forces was modelled. To improve operational characteristics of tidal range energy, a 0D analysis was carried out on existing schemes, validated by 2D hydro-environmental modelling using a bespoke modification to the open-source TELEMAC system. Finding that operational changes can yield improvements without incurring extra capital costs – without majorly affecting environmental impact. Retrofitting disused docks as small tidal range energy generators was evaluated. For tidal docks, the spatial distribution and physical characteristics may reach an improved cost balance on the traditional concept. This was done using a widely applicable and accessible method to aid expansion of tidal range resource assessment to regions and concepts hitherto unexplored. The technologies assessed in this work have the potential to contribute significantly to the global net zero ambitions, and the methods developed seek to accelerate their development and widen uptake.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1) Tidal Range Energy 2) Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics 3) Tidal Turbine 4) Renewable Energy 5) Marine Energy 6) Computational Fluid Dynamics
Funders: WISE CDT - EPSRC EP/L016214/1
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 March 2024
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2024 10:28

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