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Research Papers

Aerodynamic Simulation of Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Korobenko

Department of Structural Engineering,
University of California-San Diego,
La Jolla, CA 92093

M.-C. Hsu

Institute for Computational
Engineering and Sciences,
University of Texas-Austin,
Austin, TX 78712

I. Akkerman

School of Engineering and Computing Sciences,
Durham University,
Durham, UK

Y. Bazilevs

Department of Structural Engineering,
University of California-San Diego,
La Jolla, CA 92093
e-mail: yuri@ucsd.edu

Contributed by Applied Mechanics of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received February 17, 2013; final manuscript received April 7, 2013; accepted manuscript posted May 7, 2013; published online September 16, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Kenji Takizawa.

J. Appl. Mech 81(2), 021011 (Sep 16, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: JAM-13-1073; doi: 10.1115/1.4024415 History: Received February 17, 2013; Revised April 07, 2013; Accepted May 07, 2013

Full-scale, 3D, time-dependent aerodynamics modeling and simulation of a Darrieus-type vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) is presented. The simulations are performed using a moving-domain finite-element-based ALE-VMS technique augmented with a sliding-interface formulation to handle the rotor-stator interactions present. We simulate a single VAWT using a sequence of meshes with increased resolution to assess the computational requirements for this class of problems. The computational results are in good agreement with experimental data. We also perform a computation of two side-by-side counterrotating VAWTs to illustrate how the ALE-VMS technique may be used for the simulation of multiple turbines placed in arrays.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Computational domain for the two-VAWT case: zoom on the rotating subdomains. The two cylindrical subdomains (labeled “M”) spin with the rotors, while the remaining subdomain (labeled “S”) is stationary.

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Fig. 5

Cross section of the mesh for the two-VAWT case

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Fig. 2

Blade cross-section boundary layer of mesh 2

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Fig. 3

Time history of the aerodynamic torque for the three meshes used. The experimental result is plotted for comparison.

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Fig. 4

Vorticity isosurfaces at a time instant colored by velocity magnitude

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Fig. 6

Time history of the aerodynamic torque for two VAWTs. The data for the second turbine are shifted by 60 deg to be in phase with the first turbine. Results from a single turbine simulation are plotted for comparison.

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Fig. 7

Vorticity isosurfaces at a time instant colored by flow speed for two VAWTs

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Fig. 8

Air speed at a 2D cross section for the two-VAWT case

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