Repository logo

A one-dimensional model for tidal array design based on three-scale dynamics

Accepted version



Change log


Gupta, V 
Young, AM 


In order to make the extraction of tidal current energy economically viable, the power production per turbine must be optimised in each tidal array. Furthermore, the impact of power extraction on the marine flow environment must be understood. These two aims mean that designers must be able to model different configurations of a tidal array in order to create the most efficient, least invasive arrangement. In this paper, an analytical model is developed for array design in idealised rectangular tidal channels with idealised turbines. The model includes the effects of (i) local blockage, (ii) surface deformation, and (iii) added drag due to the installation of the array. While these effects have been accounted for individually in past work, the model presented here is the first to include all three such that the interaction between different effects can be understood. Results are presented for optimal local blockage and turbine resistance as functions of inherent channel drag coefficient, channel length, and Froude number at various global blockage values. It will be shown that it is necessary to model the effects of local blockage and added drag simultaneously in order to obtain the design parameters of a tidal array (global blockage, local blockage, and turbine resistance), which will maximise the power extraction per turbine. Neglecting either effect will lead to an array design with lower power extraction than the optimum, the addition of unnecessary extra turbines, and higher lost power from the array.



coastal engineering, geophysical and geological flows, hydraulics

Journal Title

Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Cambridge University Press
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M019896/1)
The work was mainly funded by the Newton Fund through EPSRC, UK (EP/M019896/1). The first author was supported by NSFC, China (grant number 11672123) during the later stages of this research.