Lehigh University – Tidal Turbulence Test Facility

Capabilities include:

  • Composite blade testing
  • Instrumentation
  • Turbine hydrodynamics
  • Turbine test platform
  • Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters


The Tidal Turbulence test bed is an open surface, recirculating water tunnel with a test section that is 0.61 m wide, 0.61 m tall and 1.98 m long. It is equipped with a 25HP single stage axial flow propeller pump and is capable of attaining flow speeds up to 1.0 m/s. A Makita type *active grid* turbulence generator upstream of the test section is used to seed in elevated levels of free-stream turbulence similar to highly energetic tidal energy sites. The active grid is made of ten rotating winglet shafts; five oriented horizontally and five vertically. Six square winglets, each with a side of 0.06m are attached to the shaft

s in a diamond fashion (diagonals aligned to the shaft axis).The shafts arranged in a bi-planar configuration are controlled by a dedicated stepper motor which includes an on-board simple controller/indexer and a micro-stepping driver.

Physical Infrastructure available includes:

  • Load cells for scaled turbine performance (torque and thrust)
  • Nortext Vectrino+ Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter
  • Tomographic Particle Imaging Velocimetry capabilities (TSI, Inc – 4 cameras for time-resolved tomographic measurements)
  • Hot file anemometers to measure high frequency

Click for more information.

Point of Contact:
Chad Kusko – chk205@lehigh.edu