Flow Characterisation


2014 - Present


Prof Trevor Whittaker
Dr Pauline MacKinnon
Hanna Torrens-Spence



The project investigates the temporal and spatial variability of tidally driven currents. The potential impact of turbulence on turbine performance has been demonstrated by the TTT Projects.

Tidal flow field data of sufficient detail to allow turbulence characterisation is relatively scarce. Traditional three or four beam ADCPs, which are commonly used for tidal flow resource characterisation, are typically limited by their spatial and temporal resolution. More modern five beam ADCPs tend to offer improved spatial and temporal resolution and ADVs enable relatively high frequency, high resolution measurements of small scale turbulence, although only at a single point. This projects employs a combinations of measurements from the different instrument types, enabling  improved turbulence characterisation.


Comparison of Four Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers in a High Flow Tidal Environment, B. Elsaesser, H. Torrens-Spence, P. Schmitt and L. Kregting, Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Singapore, 2016.

Current and Turbulence Measurement with Collocated ADP and Turbulence Profiler Data, H. Torrens-Spence, P. Schmitt, P. Mackinnon and B. Elsaesser, in Proceedings of the IEEE/OES Eleventh Current, Waves and Turbulence Measurement Workshop (CWTM), St Petersburg, USA, 2015.