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Research Papers: CFD and VIV

Fluid Structure Interaction Simulations of the NREL 5 MW Wind Turbine—Part I: Aerodynamics and Blockage Effect

[+] Author and Article Information
Ehsan Borouji

School of Water, Energy and Environment,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: e.borouji@cranfield.ac.uk

Takafumi Nishino

School of Water, Energy and Environment,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: t.nishino@cranfield.ac.uk

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 9, 2017; final manuscript received July 18, 2018; published online October 29, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Yin Lu Young.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 141(2), 021801 (Oct 29, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: OMAE-17-1140; doi: 10.1115/1.4040980 History: Received August 09, 2017; Revised July 18, 2018

Fluid structure interaction (FSI) simulations of the NREL 5 MW wind turbine are performed using a combination of two separate computational codes: abaqus for the finite element analysis (FEA) of turbine structures and STAR-CCM+ for the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes analysis of flow around the turbine. The main aim of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of using two-way coupled FSI simulations to predict the oscillation of the tower, as well as the rotor blades, of a full-scale wind turbine. Although the magnitude of the oscillation of the tower is much smaller than that of the blades, this oscillation is crucial for the assessment of the fatigue life of the tower. In this first part of the paper, the aerodynamic characteristics of the turbine predicted by the two-way coupled FSI simulations are discussed in comparison with those predicted by Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes simulations of a rigid turbine. Also, two different computational domains with a cross-sectional size of 2D × 2D and 4D × 4D (where D is the rotor diameter) are employed to investigate the blockage effect. The fatigue life assessment of the turbine is planned to be reported in the second part of the paper in the near future.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of two different blockage ratios

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Fig. 2

Dimensions of domain and location of the turbine for B = 0.19 (left: side view and right: front view)

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Fig. 3

The cross-sectional mesh for the domains A, B, and C

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Fig. 4

Computational mesh around a rotor blade

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Fig. 5

Comparison between NACA0018 (orange line) and NACA64-A17 (blue line) profiles

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Fig. 6

Computational domain for the 2D validation study

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Fig. 7

Enlarged pictures of three different meshes around the NACA0018 airfoil: (a) Mesh-B, (b) Mesh-A, and (c) Mesh-C

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Fig. 8

Comparison of lift coefficient for a 2D static NACA0018 airfoil at Re = 0.7 × 106

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Fig. 9

Local blade velocity in the streamwise direction (i.e., streamwise velocity of the blade movement due to the blade fluctuation) at 70% length from the root in the 3D FEA model

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Fig. 10

Time-step sensitivity analysis for the CL-AOA

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Fig. 11

Time-step sensitivity analysis for the CL-AOA

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Fig. 12

Power coefficient of the NREL 5 MW horizontal-axis wind turbine (for a fixed rotation speed of 12.2 rpm)

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Fig. 13

The rotor moment coefficient in three different simulations (for B = 0.19 and λ = 6.68)

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Fig. 14

Deflections of the blade tip in T-W FSI (for B = 0.19 and λ = 6.68)

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Fig. 15

The rotor thrust coefficient in three different simulations (for B = 0.19 and λ = 6.68)

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Fig. 16

Instantaneous pressure contours on the upstream surface of the blade at the upright position (from left to right: T-W-FSI B = 0.19 compressible flow, T-W-FSI B = 0.05 compressible flow, O-W-FSI B = 0.19 compressible flow, O-W-FSI B = 0.05 compressible flow, O-W-FSI B = 0.19 incompressible flow, and O-W-FSI B = 0.05 incompressible flow)

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Fig. 17

Instantaneous pressure contours on the downstream surface of the blade at the upright position (from left to right: T-W-FSI B = 0.19 compressible flow, T-W-FSI B = 0.05 compressible flow, O-W-FSI B = 0.19 compressible flow, O-W-FSI B = 0.05 compressible flow, O-W-FSI B = 0.19 incompressible flow, and O-W-FSI B = 0.05 incompressible flow)

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Fig. 18

Instantaneous nondimensional streamwise velocity contours at t = 40 s (left column: B = 0.19; right column: B = 0.05; top row: T-W FSI; and bottom row: O-W FSI compressible flow)

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Fig. 19:

Isosurfaces of instantaneous vorticity magnitude at t = 40 s, showing the development of tip and root vortices (left column: B = 0.19; right column: B = 0.05; top row: T-W FSI; and bottom row: O-W FSI compressible flow)

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Fig. 20

The three stations used for monitoring velocity fluctuations

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Fig. 21

Streamwise velocity fluctuations monitored during the last 10 s of the T-W FSI and O-W FSI (compressible flow) simulations at B = 0.19 (from left to right: first, second, and third stations; from top to bottom: at 69.3 m, 51.3 m, and 33.3 m from the ground)

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Fig. 22

Deflection of the tower top during the last 10 s of the T-W FSI simulations (for B = 0.19 and B = 0.05)

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