Sandia is performing a high-fidelity hydrostructural analysis of the Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC’s) TidGen® turbine using the computational fluids dynamics (CFD) tool Star CCM+® and the structural-dynamics modeling capability in the Abaqus finite-element analysis (FEA) software.

Hydrodynamic loadings from the CFD simulation will provide inputs to the Abaqus FEA model through fluid–structure coupling. The mesh for the CFD model is shown in the figure. This project’s goal is to elucidate the turbine components’ structural dynamic response during ORPC’s open-water demonstration in Cobscook Bay, Maine, which took place between September 2012 and July 2013; with a specific focus on the joint connections.

Mesh for the Star CCM+® model of the TidGen® device.

The results of this study will provide critical guidance to improve the structural design of the TidGen® turbine.