Coastal infrastructure, such as bridges and storm surge barriers with weirs, provides an attractive location for harvesting renewable energy using tidal turbines. Often stone layers are applied downstream of coastal infrastructure to protect the sea bed from erosion. However, little is known about the potential effect of tidal energy extraction on the stability of this granular bed protection. This paper describes a study of the flow conditions influencing the stability of the bed protection downstream of a weir-mounted tidal turbine, using hydrodynamic data of an experimental test. The analysis indicates that the flow recirculation zone downstream of a weir may become shorter and flatter due to the presence of a horizontal-axis turbine. As a result, energetic turbulence eddies can transport more horizontal momentum towards the bed - hence the reason a heavier bed protection may be required for granular beds downstream of weirs when a turbine is installed. This information is essential when designing safe bed protections for coastal infrastructure with tidal turbines.
- Bed stability
- Tidal turbine