PERFORMANCE AND NEAR WAKE ANALYSIS OF A HYDROKINETIC ROTOR FOR MULTISTAGE PURPOSES USING CFD

Tidal, wave and In-stream power are new applications of renewable energy, mainly developed in advanced countries and almost unknown (or not considered) in developing countries due to high costs; the main barrier to explore and harness its potential. However, some researchers are proposing low-cost systems, as the one presented in this work called “Poraquê”. This hydrokinetic system includes several low-cost axial-flow rotors in a common shaft to harness more energy from the stream. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used to analyze its performance and near wake characteristics, in order to understand the behavior of the velocity recovery downstream of the first rotor to define a suitable separation between consecutive rotors. Results for this high-solidity rotor are in agreement with literature, besides, it was found that velocity recovers independently of the upstream velocity magnitude, i.e. separation distance to the second rotor can be defined based on velocity recovery.
KEYWORDS: Hydrokinetic energy, low-cost turbines, efficiency gain.

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