Influence of the sweep angle on the leading edge vortex and its relation to the power extraction performance of a fully-passive oscillating-plate hydrokinetic turbine prototype




Lee, Waltfred

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Oscillating-foil hydrokinetic turbines have gained interest over the years to extract energy from renewable sources. The influence of the sweep angle on the performance of a fully-passive oscillating-plate hydrokinetic turbine prototype was investigated experimentally in the present work. The sweep angle was introduced to promote spanwise flow along the plate in order to manipulate the leading edge vortex (LEV) and hydrodynamically optimize the performance of the turbine. In the present work, flat plates of two configurations were considered: a plate with a 6° sweep angle and an unswept plate (control), which were undergoing fully-passive pitch and heave motions in uniform inflow at the Reynolds numbers ranging from 15 000 to 30 000. The resulting kinematic parameters and the energy extraction performance were evaluated for both plates. Planar (2D) particle image velocimetry (PIV) was used to obtain patterns of the phase-averaged out-of-plane vorticity during the oscillation cycle. The circulation in the wake was then related to the induced-forces on the plate by calculating the moments of vorticity of the LEV with respect to the pitching axis of the plate. Tomographic (3D) PIV was implemented in evaluating the influence of the spanwise flow on the dynamics of the vortex structure in three-dimensional space. The rate of deformation of the vortex length was quantified by calculating the deformation terms embedded in the vorticity equations, then linked to the stability of the vortex. The results show evidence of delay of the shedding of LEV and increased vortex stability, in the case of the swept plate. The manipulation of the LEV by the spanwise flow was related to the induced kinematics exhibited by the prolonged heave forces experienced by the swept plate, which led to the higher power extraction performance at high inflow velocities. In the presence of spanwise flow, positive vortex stretching along the vortex line increased the stabilization of the vortex core and prevented the onset of helical vortex breakdown, observed in the case of the unswept plate. The use of the sweep profile on the plate has led to the improvement of energy extraction performance of the fully-passive hydrokinetic turbine.



Oscillating foils, Leading edge vortex, Particle image velocimetry, Tomographic PIV, Sweep angle, Spanwise flow, Fully passive, Vortex stability, Vortex deformation, Energy extraction, Fluid–structure interaction