In both tidal and wind power, floating platforms are an enabling technology that extends the available resource and the viability of these technologies as sources of renewable energy in the UK. However, the unsteady turbine motion imparted through platform movement is a potential hazard, as these can cause very large forces on the turbine blades. This project consists of building an experimental test rig for studies of forced motion effects in tidal turbines, with forcing enabled in multiple degrees of freedom, to evaluate the effects of platform-induced motion in a highly controlled manner. The rig will enable extensive studies of 3D unsteady flow effects, which are prohibitively complex to study analytically, and extremely expensive to model numerically. As such, this new rig will enable extensive, parametric studies into unsteady flow effects on turbines in a way that is not achievable or affordable using other methods. Furthermore, the versatility of the rig will ensure a large scope for future research projects on unsteady flow effects in a variety of fields, in both offshore renewables and aerospace applications.

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