With the development of large-scale tidal current turbines and the increase in tidal current velocity, the possibility of cavitation increases. Furthermore, unsteady cavitation is a complicated multiphase flow that causes power degradation of tidal current turbine blade. There has been no comprehensive investigation of it so far. In this study, the blade captured power is obtained at different cavitation numbers using the Schnerr–Sauer cavitation model. The numerical uncertainty for the mesh and the time step is calculated by the grid convergence index method. It has been shown that, when the cavitation number is 5 and 2, cavitation has no effect on the blade power. With the decrease in the cavitation number, the rise in cavitation intensity occurs when the vapor distribution area stretches from the blade tip to the blade root and from the leading edge to the trailing edge, respectively. With a fall in cavitation number to 1.3, the vapor volume fraction rises, and the viscosity of the mixed phase reduces, resulting in a reduction in viscous power. When the cavitation number is 0.8, there exists a larger region in which an absolute value of minimum pressure coefficient is less than the cavitation number, a smaller blade load is present, and the pressure difference power is substantially decreased. Because of the huge inverse pressure gradient created by cavitation, the negative pressure difference power is generated, resulting in a decline of the blade power coefficient to 14%, when the cavitation number is 0.5.

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