This short course covers both fundamental and applied fluid mechanics topics required to understand the aero/hydrodynamic characteristics of wind, wave and tidal current energy systems. Some very recent topics such as modelling of tidal turbine arrays are also discussed.

At a glance

Course structure

This course is delivered through a balanced combination of lectures and practical sessions. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

On completion of this module, the student will be able to:
  • Explain how the wind, waves and tides are formed, factors that influence their distribution and predictability
  • Review the fundamental equations for fluid behaviour, characterisation of flow structures and forces and moments acting on lifting bodies
  • Evaluate and select the most appropriate engineering performance model to undertake the simulation of a practical problem and critically assess the solution.

Core content

Principles of fluid dynamics:

  • Properties of fluids: Control volumes and fluid elements, Continuity, Momentum and Energy equations, stream function and velocity potential, Bernoulli’s equation
  • Flow structures: Boundary layer theory, laminar and turbulent flow, steady and unsteady flow, flow breakdown and separations, vortex formation and stability
  • Lifting flows: Circulation theory, Prandtl’s lifting-line theory, sources of drag, aerofoil characteristics
  • Fluid loading on horizontal and vertical axis turbines.

Dynamics of floating bodies: from simple hydrostatics to complex dynamic response in waves:

  • Hydrostatics of Floating Bodies; Buoyancy Forces and Stability, Initial stability, The wall sided formula and large angle stability, Stability losses, The Pressure Integration Technique
  • Fluid loading on offshore structures and Ocean Waves Theory: The Added Mass Concept, Froude Krylov Force, Linear wave theory, Wave loading (Diffraction Theory & Morison Equation)
  • Dynamics response of floating structures in waves: dynamic response analysis, application to floating bodies (buoys, semisub, TLP), effect of moorings.
Engineering performance models: Blade Element Momentum theory, Vortex and Cascade models, Array models:

  • Induction factors (blade/blade-wake interactions), Pre- and Post-stall aerofoil characteristics, Dynamic stall models, Finite aspect ratio considerations, flow curvature model characterisation of near and far wakes, wake decay models, tidal array analysis.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

10 Credit Points toward Renewable Energy Engineering MSc. Read more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

Those who are interested in fundamental aero/hydrodynamic design of offshore renewable energy systems, such as wind, wave and tidal current energy devices and their arrays.


The course fee includes lunch and refreshments during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately.10% discount applies if booked eight weeks in advance. 10% discount for 3rd and subsequent delegates from the same company/site. Discounts can be combined.

Accommodation options and prices

This course is non-residential. If accommodation is required, please make your own arrangements at Mitchell Hall or a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.