Turbulence characterisation for tidal turbine design

Duration: 18 months (2014 - 2016)


The sites currently being considered for the exploitation of tidal current energy using tidal turbines are generally areas of limited depth (30 m to 50 m) characterized by high intensity currents. At such sites, the flow in the water slice is most often turbulent due to variations in bathymetry, bottom roughness and other kinematic and dynamic phenomena related in particular to the interaction with the swell. This flow turbulence is relatively unknown, particularly at metric and decametric scales that can alter the response of machines, both in terms of production and structural fatigue.


  • To develop and finalise the tools and procedures necessary to create relevant databases.
  • To analyse these databases to acquire new knowledge on turbulent phenomena within high intensity flows that can be used by engineering companies for their design studies.

Scientific and technical contents

  • State of the art and evaluation of existing measurement systems and their ability to provide appropriate information,
  • Definition and validation of operational procedures and protocols for acquiring relevant data sets.
  • Development and validation of the analytical methods and tools necessary for the use of these data sets (parameters adapted to design studies),
  • Data exploitation and characterisation of turbulent phenomena within high intensity flows

Partners and funding

This project was led by the Ifremer and France Energies Marines.

The total project budget was €333K.

This project received funding from France Energies Marines and its members and partners.

Photo credit: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

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