Derek Foran, MASc Civil Engineering Water Resources

University of Ottawa master’s student Derek Foran is currently conducting research on the implementation of a novel tidal energy concept under the supervision of Civil Engineering faculty members Drs. Mohammadian and Nistor. The Tidal Acceleration Structure (TAS) is an innovative structure which accelerates tidal currents for the purpose of electric power generation. Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling of the structure has proved promising and scaled flume testing of a prototype is set to begin in January 2014.

Born in Kingston Ontario but growing up in Aylmer Quebec, Derek attended English and French language schools before enrolling in the Civil Engineering program at the University of Ottawa in 2008. In the first year of his undergraduate degree, Derek submitted a patent for the above-mentioned tidal structure and in the following years performed some preliminary work on the concept in conjunction with other students and Drs. Nistor and Mohammadian. After graduating in 2012, Derek worked for the Quebec engineering firm Dessau before deciding to return to the university to continue work on the TAS in a graduate setting.

An avid sports enthusiast, Derek enjoys hockey, soccer, tennis, bouldering and bike touring. Other hobbies of interest include traveling, homebrewing and sailing his boat Duncan which he recently finished building with his brother.

Tidal Acceleration Structure, Numerical modelling using ANSYS Fluent®

The Tidal Acceleration Structure (TAS) is an innovative patent pending structure which accelerates tidal currents for the purpose of electric power generation. In increasing the velocity of water flow reaching a turbine, the structure is capable of producing a larger amount of electricity than a non-augmented turbine. A pictorial showing the basic configuration of the tidal energy concept is presented below.

Top-down perspective view of the Tidal Acceleration Structure

Under the supervision of Drs. Mohammadian and Nistor, MASc. student Derek Foran has been conducting numerical model simulations of the concept using the ANSYS commercial software Fluent®.  The numerical research is now set to be verified against small-scale tests in the 1.5 m wide flume located in the hydraulics lab at the University of Ottawa.

Velocity contours through the TAS as simulated in ANSYS Fluent®