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Application of CFD for

Simulation of Wind
Energy Converters

André Braune
ANSYS Continental
Europe

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Overview

• CFD simulations for


wind energy converters
– Blade design aspects
• Profile design
• Loads for FSI
• Turbulence
• Acoustics
– Siting & terrain modeling
– Cooling of generator
housing
© Siemens Wind Power

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Computational Fluid Dynamics for

Generator Aerodynamic Structural Wind park


design blade design blade design design

© Kato Engineering

Terrain modeling Acoustics

Tower design Housing & base


cooling

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Blade Design

• Challenges • Benefits of simulations


– Aerodynamic efficiency – Virtual prototyping of
across expected wind initial candidate designs
speeds and wind profiles – Reduced wind tunnel and
– Determine integrity of full scale testing
structures made of – Automation of design
complex composite process
materials –  Fewer prototypes &
– Minimize noise lower design costs
– Maximize strength while –  Multi-physics
minimize weight simulations

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Aerodynamic Blade Design

• Main aspects:
• Design of 2D profiles 
3D blades
– Advanced turbulence
modeling:
• SST turbulence model
• Laminar to turbulent
transition model
• Roughness effects
• Tip vortices
• Scale resolving simulation
(LES, SAS …)
– Interaction with upstream
turbines
– Design studies &
optimization
Photo © José Luis Gutiérrez, graphic courtesy of IMPSA S.A., Argentina

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Transition: 2D S809 Airfoil

• Laminar flow airfoil for wind


turbine applications
• Rex = 2 106, = 0°  20°
• Experiment:
– 2D: low-turbulence wind tunnel
@ Delft University of
Technology, (Somers, 1989)
– 3D: profile for the NREL phase
IV full wind turbine experiment,
(Simms, 2001)
• ANSYS CFD
– Transitional and fully turbulent
– Grid: 150 000 elements (2D) Sommers, D. M., 1989, “Design and Experimental Results for the S908

– Max. y+ 1 Airfoil”, Airfoils, Inc., State College, PA

Simms, D., Schreck, S., Hand, M, and Fingersh, L.J. (2001). “NREL
Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment in the NASA-Ames Wind
Tunnel: A Comparison of Predictions to Measurements”, NREL
Technical report, NREL/TP-500-29494.
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Transition: 2D S809 Airfoil
Tu Contour
Transition

Transition

Transition

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Transition: 2D S809 Airfoil
Pressure (Cp) Distribution

AoA = 1°

AoA = 14°

AoA = 9° AoA = 20°

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Transition: 3D NREL Wind Turbine

Separated flow
Turbulence production

Stagnation point

Reattachment

NREL 3D – Pressure Side


Transitional Turbulence
N = 72 rev/min

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Transition: 3D NREL Wind Turbine

Turbulent

Arrows indicate flow direction

Transitional

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3D Separation on Wind Turbine

• SST-SAS 3D CFD
simulation NACA 63618, ACA 10
– Combination of scale SAS simulation snapshot
resolving model (LES)
and statistical model
–  Resolves larger and
medium scales, e.g. 3D
shape of separation
zones, turbulence
structures etc.
–  Combination with © Siemens Wind Power

automatic wall treatment,


transition & wall © J. Laursen, P. Enevoldsen, S. Hjort: 3D CFD rotor computations of a
Multi-megawatt HAWT rotor , EWEC 2007
roughness possible
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Tip Vortex: NACA 0012 Wing

• NACA 0012 with


rounded wing tip  tip
vortex
• Re = 4.6 106
• Experiment:
– Bradshaw et al (1997)
• ANSYS CFD:
– Grid: 5.5 million elements
– Max. y+ = 1 (on airfoil)

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Tip Vortex: NACA 0012 Wing

• Models resolving Plane X/C=0.67


SST SST-CC
streamline curvature
• Eddy viscosity ratio:
– Lower turbulence in
vortex core region 
reduced production of
turbulent kinetic energy
–  Better prediction of
swirling velocities and
turbulence levels in
vortex core

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Structural Blade Design

• Fluid Structure Interaction - FSI


– 1-Way Fluid Structure Interaction
• ANSYS Mechanical  ANSYS CFD (deformations)
• ANSYS CFD  ANSYS Mechanical (pressure
loads, …)
– 2-Way Fluid Structure Interaction
• Full unsteady-state interaction between
aerodynamic loads and structural response

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1-Way- and 2-Way-FSI

Geometry model

Operating points

CFD mesh CSM mesh

CFD calculation Loads

CSM calculation
2-way coupling
Stresses, deformations
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Aero-Acoustic Simulations

• Challenges • Benefits of simulations


– Aero-acoustic noise – All aero-acoustic sources
based on unsteady-state of noise can be simulated
phenomena
(e.g. inherent turbulent
– Coupling of different fluctuations 
noise sources and quadrupoles)
transmission processes
– Large differences in time – Different acoustic models
and length scales! allow for balancing
• Small sound pressure between computational
fluctuations & acoustic efforts & accuracy /
energies, compared to details
aerodynamic pressure
differences!

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Aero-Acoustic Source Classification

Monopole Dipole Quadrupole


(simple source) (2 monopoles) (2 dipoles)

Flow Flow Flow

m = m(t) psurface = psurface(t)


= (t)
Unsteady mass Unsteady external Unsteady turbulent
injection forces shear stresses
Acoustic ~ U 3M Acoustic ~ U 3M 3 Acoustic ~ U 3M 5
Power Power Power

Monopole and dipole sources dominant at low Mach numbers

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CFD Approaches to Aeroacoustics

Increasing computational effort


• Steady-state RANS based noise source modeling
– Empirical correlations  estimate acoustic radiation

Increasing accuracy
• Modal Analysis
– Linearized Navier-Stokes-Equations with super-imposed
pertubations
–  Resonant frequencies and mode shapes
• Acoustic Analogy modeling
– CFD  calculate source field
– Analytical solution  propagate sound from source to
receiver location
• Coupling of CFD and specialized acoustics codes:
– Acoustic sources determined with CFD, but acoustic
waves not tracked with CFD
– Account for external scattering & reflections
• Direct Computational Aero-Acoustics (CAA)
– Resolve the acoustic pressure fluctuations as part of the
CFD solution

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Example: Generic Car Mirror

Sensors
downstream
the mirror:

140 140 140


130 130 130
120 120 120
110 110 110
100 100 100
90 90 90
SPL [dB]

SPL [dB]

SPL [dB]
80 80 80
70 70 70
60 60 60
Sensor 121 Sensor 123
50 50 Sensor 122 50
40 40 40
30 30 30
Freestream Velocity = 140 km/h Freestream Velocity = 140 km/h Freestream Velocity = 140 km/h
20 20 20
Experimental data Experimental data Experimental data
10 SAS model 10 SAS model 10 SAS model
0 0 0
10 100 1000 10 100 1000 10 100 1000
Frequency [Hz] Frequency [Hz] Frequency [Hz]

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Turbine Site Selection &
Wind Park Modeling

• Challenges • Benefits of simulations


– Turbine efficiency and – Optimize turbine output
operation stability and placement
depends on turbine • Wind speed & turbulence
placement prediction over
• Steep terrain, mountains complex terrain
• Off-shore installations • Account for wake effects

– Impact of turbine-turbine – Upfront prediction of


wake effects for varying power output as a
wind directions and function of wind speeds
speeds and direction

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Terrain Modeling

© 2007 swisstopo
Isosurface of
high turbulence

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Wind Park Modeling

Velocity contours showing wake shading effect &


turbulence structures
ANSYS FLUENT: LES simulation with sliding
rotor meshes

© From: Th. Hahm,


F2E Fluid & Energy Engineering GmbH & Co. KG
© From: O. Röglin,
TÜV NORD SysTec GmbH & Co. KG
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Example: Black Law Wind Farm

• Central Scotland
– Operated by Scottish
Power Renewables
– Largest operating wind
farm in the UK (Jan 2006)
with 54 turbines
– Total installed power Map Image: Ordnance Survey © Crown Copyright 2008, License number 100048580

capacity of 124 MW (2.3


MW each)
– Small height variations
(170 m) across farm
– Measurements available
http://www.bbc.co.uk/britainfromabove/stories/rewinds/blacklaw.shtml

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Example: Black Law Wind Farm
Multiple Wakes
Wind speed at hub height, wind direction 210

Without wind turbines With wind turbines

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Wind Park Power Output Estimation

Montavon, C., 1998, „Simulation of atmospheric flows over complex terrain for wind power potential assessment‟, PhD thesis no. 1855, EPF
Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Housing & Generator Cooling

• Challenges • Benefits of simulations


– Ensure effective cooling – Virtual prototyping of
under all environmental different cooling solutions
conditions & layouts
– Complex geometries & • Fan locations & number
many details • Air guidance
– Many parameters • Device positions
• Fan positions & number –  Less trial & error
• Positions of electrical – Reduce thermal peak
devices loads on generator, gear,
• Air flow blockage transformer, structures
• Outside temperature & etc.
incoming sun radiation • Pre-identify “problem”
regions (hot spots)

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Heat Transfer: Aspects

• Turbulence:
– Reliable turbulence models
– Near wall treatment of boundary layers
– Advanced turbulence models (SAS, Transition, …)
• CHT:
– Coupled simulation of heat transfer in fluid and
solid regions
• Radiation:
– Between surfaces
– Sun radiation

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Turbulence Models: Diffuser Flow

k- model

No separation

SST model

Separation

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Turbulence Models: Comparison

Velocity Constant
Inlet Heat Flux

• Experiment
– Baughn et al.
(1984)
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Example: Cooling in Electric
Motor / Generator

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Example: Tower Base Cooling

• Simulation procedure:
– Geometry import &
simplification
– Geometry
parameterization for
some parts (e.g. fan
openings)
– Parametric meshing of
fluid and solid domains
regions
– Simulation with fluid &
solid regions (heat losses
defined by energy
sources)
© Nordex

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Computational Fluid Dynamics for

Generator Aerodynamic Structural Wind park


design blade design blade design design

© Kato Engineering

Terrain modeling Acoustics

Tower design Housing & base


cooling

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