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Research Papers

Benchmark of a Novel Aero-Elastic Simulation Code for Small Scale VAWT Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
David Marten

Chair of Fluid Dynamics,
HFI TU Berlin,
Müller Breslau Strasse 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany
e-mail: david.marten@tu-berlin.de

Matthew Lennie

Chair of Fluid Dynamics,
HFI TU Berlin,
Müller Breslau Strasse 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany

George Pechlivanoglou, Christian Oliver Paschereit

Chair of Fluid Dynamics,
HFI TU Berlin,
Müller Breslau Strasse 8,
Berlin 10623, Germany

Alessandro Bianchini, Giovanni Ferrara

Department of Industrial Engineering,
Università degli Studi di Firenze,
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy

Lorenzo Ferrari

DESTEC,
Università di Pisa Largo Lucio Lazzarino,
Pisa 56122, Italy

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 13, 2018; final manuscript received August 31, 2018; published online November 28, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(4), 041014 (Nov 28, 2018) (13 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1489; doi: 10.1115/1.4041519 History: Received July 13, 2018; Revised August 31, 2018

After almost 20 years of absence from research agendas, interest in the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) technology is presently increasing again, after the research stalled in the mid 90's in favor of horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). However, due to the lack of research in past years, there are a significantly lower number of design and certification tools available, many of which are underdeveloped if compared to the corresponding tools for HAWTs. To partially fulfill this gap, a structural finite element analysis (FEA) model, based on the Open Source multiphysics library PROJECT::CHRONO, was recently integrated with the lifting line free vortex wake (LLFVW) method inside the Open Source wind turbine simulation code QBlade and validated against numerical and experimental data of the SANDIA 34 m rotor. In this work, some details about the newly implemented nonlinear structural model and its coupling to the aerodynamic solver are first given. Then, in a continuous effort to assess its accuracy, the code capabilities were here tested on a small-scale, fast-spinning (up to 450 rpm) VAWT. The study turbine is a helix shaped, 1 kW Darrieus turbine, for which other numerical analyses were available from a previous study, including the results coming from both a one-dimensional beam element model and a more sophisticated shell element model. The resulting data represented an excellent basis for comparison and validation of the new aero-elastic coupling in QBlade. Based on the structural and aerodynamic data of the study turbine, an aero-elastic model was then constructed. A purely aerodynamic comparison to experimental data and a blade element momentum (BEM) simulation represented the benchmark for QBlade aerodynamic performance. Then, a purely structural analysis was carried out and compared to the numerical results from the former. After the code validation, an aero-elastically coupled simulation of a rotor self-start has been performed to demonstrate the capabilities of the newly developed model to predict the highly nonlinear transient aerodynamic and structural rotor response.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Computer-aided design model (left) and on field picture (right) of the WT1 KW (courtesy of Pramac Spa)

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Fig. 2

Overview about blade, strut and wake discretization for the aerodynamic LLFVW method in QBlade

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Fig. 7

Vorticity iso contours from the QBlade simulation; TSR 2.2, 15 m/s inflow

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Fig. 8

Velocity iso contours from the QBlade simulation; TSR 2.2, 15 m/s inflow

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Fig. 3

Power coefficient versus rotational speed for three wind velocities

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Fig. 4

Tangential force of one blade versus azimuthal angle

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Fig. 5

Normal force of one blade versus azimuthal angle

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Fig. 6

Angle of attack at the blade midspan position versus azimuthal angle

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Fig. 12

The aero-elastic turbine model in QBlade showing aerodynamic panels and structural beams and nodes

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Fig. 10

Total displacement at a 25% spanwise position over the azimuthal blade angle

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Fig. 11

Edgewise bending moment at a 25% spanwise position over the azimuthal blade angle

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Fig. 9

Overview of the loose coupling scheme

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Fig. 13

Convergence of calculated Eigen frequencies for different structural discretization levels

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Fig. 14

Mode-shapes for the first six eigenmodes as calculated with QBlade

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Fig. 15

Campbell diagram including 1p–6p excitation lines, colored line data from QBlade, point data calculated with garos [44] software

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Fig. 16

Rotor revolutions per minute over time during transient rotor self-start simulation

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Fig. 17

Torque evolution over time during transient rotor self-start simulation

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Fig. 18

Angle of attack evolution over time during transient rotor self-start simulation

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Fig. 19

Tower top position lateral deflection over time during transient rotor self-start simulation

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Fig. 20

Trajectories of the tower top position for the transient rotor self-start simulation

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