Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

Wind Turbine Aerodynamic Modeling in Icing Condition: Three-Dimensional RANS-CFD Versus Blade Element Momentum Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Narges Tabatabaei, Michel J. Cervantes

Department of Engineering Sciences and
Fluid and Experimental Mechanics,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå, Norrbotten 97187, Sweden

Sudhakar Gantasala

Department of Engineering Sciences and
Product and Production Development,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå, Norrbotten 97187, Sweden

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received June 30, 2018; final manuscript received January 27, 2019; published online April 1, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Christopher Niezrecki.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(7), 071201 (Apr 01, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1480; doi: 10.1115/1.4042713 History: Received June 30, 2018; Revised January 27, 2019

Icing limits the performance of wind turbines in cold climates. The prediction of the aerodynamic performance losses and their distribution due to ice accretion is essential. Blade element momentum (BEM) is the basis of blade structural studies. The accuracy and limitations of this method in icing condition are assessed in the present study. To this purpose, a computational study on the aerodynamic performance of the full-scale NREL 5 MW rotor is performed. Three-dimensional (3D) steady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) simulations are performed for both clean and iced blade, as well as BEM calculations using two-dimensional (2D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) sectional airfoil data. The total power calculated by the BEM method is in close agreement with the 3D CFD results for the clean blade. There is a 4% deviation, while it is underestimated by 28% for the iced one. The load distribution along the clean blade span differs between both methods. Load loss due to the ice, predicted by 3D CFD, is 32% in extracted power and the main loss occurs at the regions where the ice horn height exceeds 8% of the chord length.

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Fig. 1

Fundamental airfoils in 5-MW NREL blade, sectioning and some ice profiles

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Fig. 2

Ice types (flow field-based) [27]

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Fig. 3

Ice profile: (a) simulated in [28], (b) simulated in [29], and (c) estimated in this work

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Fig. 4

Radial distribution of ice profile on the blade

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Fig. 5

The velocity triangle on an airfoil section of the blade

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Fig. 6

The seven model domain, set boundaries and the mesh configuration around the airfoil

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Fig. 7

Aerodynamic forces definition: tangential and normal components

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Fig. 8

The 3D model and the boundary condition

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Fig. 9

Blocking strategy around the blade at the inner domain

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Fig. 10

Radial distribution of the AOA (“S” = “section”)

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Fig. 11

Radial distribution of the force components for a clean blade

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Fig. 12

Radial distribution of force components at iced blade

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Fig. 13

Chordwise variation of the pressure coefficient for 2D and 3D simulations at section 8

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Fig. 14

Streamlines over a section (section 12) of the clean and iced blade

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Fig. 15

Chordwise pressure distributions of the iced and clean profiles of a section near tip (section 12)

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Fig. 16

Suction side limit surface streaklines for iced and clean blade

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Fig. 17

Flow pattern on the suction side near the tip for both iced and clean blade

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Fig. 18

Chordwise pressure distributions of the iced and clean profiles of a section near the hub (section 9)

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Fig. 19

Chordwise pressure distributions of the iced and clean profiles of a section near hub (section 2)

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Fig. 20

Pressure side limit surface streamlines for the iced and clean blade

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Fig. 21

Radial distribution of axial force for iced and clean blade



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