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Unsteady hydrodynamics of flexible submerged foils

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Event5th Oxford Tidal Energy Workshop - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Mar 201622 Mar 2016


Conference5th Oxford Tidal Energy Workshop
CountryUnited Kingdom


The wave induced hydrodynamics of rigid and flexible foils are investigated by means of experimentation, including Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), and analytically through Theodorsen’s unsteady loading theory. High-amplitude high-frequency fluctuations were investigated in order to explore extreme flow fluctuations, which cannot be matched by a pitch control system, and to assess the limits of Theodorsen’s linear approach. We found a strong non-linear interaction between the separated boundary layer and the trailing edge vortex, with circulation counter to the bounded case present. This resulted in low lift-to-drag ratio (i.e. low efficiency) and poor agreement between Theodorsen and experiments for the rigid foil. Conversely, the flexible foil was very promising: preventing large flow separation, it resulted in 25% higher lift-to-drag ratio, 30% lower flow fluctuations and reasonable agreement with Theodorsen’s prediction.


5th Oxford Tidal Energy Workshop


Oxford, United Kingdom

Event: Conference

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