The ambient turbulence intensity in the upstream flow plays a decisive role in the behaviour of horizontal axis marine current turbines.
Experimental trials, run in the IFREMER flume tank in Boulogne-Sur-Mer (France) for two different turbulence intensity rates, namely 3% and 15%, are presented. They show, for the studied turbine configuration, that while the wake of the turbine is deeply influenced by the ambient turbulence conditions, its mean performances turn out to be slightly modified.
The presented conclusions are crucial in the view of implanting second generation turbines arrays. In addition, complete and detailed data sets (wake profiles and performance graphs) are made available to the scientific community in order to encourage further comparisons.