Flexible blades for tidal turbines

Ignazio Maria Viola, Susan Tully, Jean-Baptiste Richon, Abel Arredondo Galeana, Rowan Muir

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The combination of highly turbulent flow and wave-induced currents within a tidal stream leads to continuous load variations on the blades of tidal turbines and limits their survivability and fatigue endurance. We propose the use of flexible turbine blades to decrease the amplitude of the load fluctuations and thus increase their durability. We developed a numerical model of a turbine blade; we show the extreme flow variations that it experiences and we show that a blade with a flexible trailing edge can result in reduced amplitude load fluctuations. Preliminary results of ongoing complementary experiments have confirmed the predicted trends.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015
Event4th Oxford Tidal Energy Workshop - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Mar 201524 Mar 2015


Workshop4th Oxford Tidal Energy Workshop
Abbreviated titleOTE2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • flexible blades
  • tidal turbines


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