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Tho new PhD positions at Queen's University Belfast

Fluid structure interactions on the flow field around a tidal current turbine

Tidal flow represents an abundant yet significantly untapped source of renewable energy.  In order to capture and use this energy source ongoing research is continuing into the design of tidal machines and blades optimisations.  Key to that optimisation is a full understanding of the sensitivity of the design to the hydrodynamics of the water near to and through the turbine, with Queens leading this research for a number of years.    Approaches to modelling the hydrodynamic flow field both near to, and at distance from, a tidal current turbine have experienced issues with full validation of field based and experimental measurements.  Existing standard computational approaches over predict the near field flow to obtain accuracy in the far field, or over predict the far field in order to adequately describe the near field flow. A different approach is therefore needed that will allow a full understanding of the dominating processes.  The ability to assess both the effects of inflow conditions and machine / flow interactions currently have limited value and represent a deficiency for the industry when considering design optimisation with the interaction of the unit, and its performance within natural variations found in inflow conditions, not being fully understood.  An integrated approach to the modelling of the hydrodynamics, with improved full field validations, and the response of the machine to those conditions will offer a significant advance in knowledge. Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) or a Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) approach coupled with a Discrete Element Method (DEM) will be used in this study backed by on site and lab based measurement.

Hydrodynamics of monopile wind turbines considering nonlinear load and load effects

Larger wind turbines appear offshore to reduce the cost of produced power in order to make offshore wind energy comparative with onshore wind power. Increased size of turbine results in the larger foundation; monopile foundations are the most installed substructures used for offshore wind installations due to their relatively low cost. Larger monopiles require more accurate modelling for coupled/integrated analysis including soil-pile interactions, hydro-elasticity and higher order loads. Higher order wave kinematics in shallow water, higher order hydrodynamic loads and soil-pile interactions in the coupled aero-hydro-servo-elastic analysis when piles become larger are the focus of the current research. Fluid-structure interaction of foundation influences the dynamics of the system and correspondingly the performance and structural integrity of turbine. The foundation of turbines represents a significant proportion of the lifecycle costs and hence opportunities to reduce costs must be sought in order for arrays to be commercially viable. Hence, reliable numerical methods capable of handling the integrated dynamic analysis of offshore wind turbine considering foundation subjected to higher order wave loads are needed. In this research, numerical methods for dynamic analysis of offshore wind turbine considering higher order wave loads are developed and compared with small-scale model testing in wave basin. Higher order wave kinematics and loads in integrated/coupled modelling will be implemented to examine the functionality, power performance, survivability and structural integrity of offshore bottom-fixed monopile turbines. Particular attention is given to higher order load effects such as ringing analysis that could be significant when turbine size is getting larger and water depth increases. The power generation, structural dynamics and survivability of the monopile wind turbines are investigated to reduce the sensitivity of the structure to extreme events. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) considering higher order load and load effects are used to define recommendations for designing high-efficiency monopile wind turbines and key design parameters are investigated to highlight overall effects in offshore wind parks. 

Find out more about theses positions <here>.

To apply for one of these positions, please complete an application form on the Queen’s University Postgraduate Applications Portal <here>. The application deadline is Friday 16 February 2018 at 5 pm.

To be eligible for consideration for a DfE studentship (including a stipend of £14,553 and Home/EU fees), the candidate must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years (with no restrictions). EU residents may be eligible for studentship covering fees-only. Find out more about eligibility <here>.

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