Objective Functions for the Blade Shape Optimisation of a Cross-Flow Tidal Turbine under Constraints


  • Karla Ruiz-Hussmann Otto-von-Guericke Unviersity Magdeburg &
  • Pierre-Luc Delafin
  • Cyrille Bonamy
  • Yves Delannoy
  • Dominique Thévenin
  • Stefan Hoerner




Cross-flow Tidal Turbine, Active variable pitch, blade shape optimisation, CFD


Hydro-kinetic cross-flow tidal turbines (CFTT) are omni-directional and offer higher area-based power density compared to horizontal-axis tidal turbines, making them very attractive for tidal energy exploitation. However, the rotating motion around the vertical axis results in continuously varying angles of attack, causing alternating loads, which may lead to fatigue failure and structural damage. The OPTIDE Project addresses these challenges by implementing intracycle blade pitching to individually control the angle of attack, increasing the power coefficient CP and reducing structural loads. For this purpose a Darrieus turbine is designed with embedded actuators in each blade. Firstly a blade shape optimization will be conducted to fit the actuator at the quarter-chord position while ensuring sufficient thickness. The optimization procedure couples Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with a Genetic Algorithm. The employed optimizer OPAL++ sets ten variables for each individual, which describe the hydrofoil shape, length and tip speed ratio (TSR). A smooth hydrofoil shape is generated from the variables, followed by an automatic mesh generation. Subsequently, numerical simulations of each individual at the desired TSR are conducted, while keeping the blade pitch angle constant. Simulation results provide the CP and stress acting on the turbine blades, which are the two optimization objectives (maximize CP while minimizing stress). This process is repeated during the optimization, aiming to determine the most suitable blade shape, that fits the actuator, and operating point (TSR) in a trade-off between CP and structural loads. This will lead to the increase of efficiency and a longer turbine lifetime.



How to Cite

K. Ruiz-Hussmann, P.-L. Delafin, C. Bonamy, Y. Delannoy, D. Thévenin, and S. Hoerner, “Objective Functions for the Blade Shape Optimisation of a Cross-Flow Tidal Turbine under Constraints”, Proc. EWTEC, vol. 15, Sep. 2023.