CFD modelling of wind turbine airfoil aerodynamics

Campobasso, M.S., Zanon, A., Foerster, M., Fraysse, F. and Bonfiglioli, A. (2008) CFD modelling of wind turbine airfoil aerodynamics. In: 63th ATI National Congress, Energia per lo sviluppo sostenibile, Palermo, Italy, 23-26 September 2008,

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This paper reports the first findings of an ongoing research programme on wind turbine computational aerodynamics at the University of Glasgow. Several modeling aspects of wind turbine airfoil aerodynamics based on the solution of the Reynoldsaveraged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations are addressed. One of these is the effect of an a priori method for structured grid adaptation aimed at improving the wake resolution. Presented results emphasize that the proposed adaptation strategy greatly improves the wake resolution in the far-field, whereas the wake is completely diffused by the non-adapted grid with the same number and distribution of grid nodes. A grid refinement analysis carried out with the adapted grid shows that the improvements of flow resolution thus achieved are of a smaller magnitude with respect to those accomplished by adapting the grid keeping constant the number of nodes. The proposed adaptation approach can be easily included in the structured generation process of both commercial and in-house structured mesh generators systems. The study also aims at quantifying the solution inaccuracy arising from not modeling the laminar-to-turbulent transition. It is found that the drag forces obtained by considering the flow as transitional or fully turbulent may differ by 50 %. The impact of various turbulence models on the predicted aerodynamic forces is also analyzed. All these issues are investigated using a special-purpose hyperbolic grid generator and a multi-block structured finitevolume RANS code. The numerical experiments consider the flow field past a wind turbine airfoil for which an exhaustive campaign of steady and unsteady experimental measurements was conducted. The predictive capabilities of the CFD solver are validated by comparing experimental data and numerical predictions for selected flow regimes. The incompressible analysis and design code XFOIL is also used to support the findings of the comparative analysis of numerical RANS-based results and experimental data.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Campobasso, Dr Michele
Authors: Campobasso, M.S., Zanon, A., Foerster, M., Fraysse, F., and Bonfiglioli, A.
Subjects:T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Aerospace Sciences
Research Group:CFD
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the 63th ATI National Congress, Energia per lo sviluppo sostenibile
Publisher Policy:Reprocuded with permission of the authors

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