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Research Papers

Comparisons of Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine Wake Interaction Models

[+] Author and Article Information
Jordan M. Wilson, Cole J. Davis

Department of Civil
and Environmental Engineering,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372

Subhas K. Venayagamoorthy

Associate Professor
Department of Civil
and Environmental Engineering,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372
e-mail: vskaran@colostate.edu

Paul R. Heyliger

Professor
Department of Civil
and Environmental Engineering,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372

1Present address: Quest Integrity Group, Boulder, CO 80301.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received December 18, 2013; final manuscript received September 8, 2014; published online November 17, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(3), 031001 (Jun 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1373; doi: 10.1115/1.4028914 History: Received December 18, 2013; Revised September 08, 2014; Online November 17, 2014

In this study, Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) simulations are performed using the k-ε and k-ω shear stress transport (SST) turbulence closure schemes to investigate the interactions of horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) models in the neutrally stratified atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). A comparative study of actuator disk, actuator line, and full rotor models of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 5 MW reference turbine is presented. The open-source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code openfoam 2.1.0 and the commercial software ansysfluent 13.0 are used for simulations. Single turbine models are analyzed for turbulent structures and wake resolution in the downstream region. To investigate the influence of the incident wind field on very large turbine blades, a high-resolution full rotor simulation is carried out for a single turbine to determine blade pressure distributions. Finally, simulations are performed for two inline turbines spaced 5 diameters (5D) apart. The research presented in this study provides an intercomparison of three dominant HAWT models operating at rated conditions in a neutral ABL using an RANS framework. Furthermore, the pressure distributions of the highly resolved full rotor model (FRM) will be useful for future aeroelastic structural analysis of anisotropic composite blade materials.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of two inline turbines

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Fig. 2

Vertical profiles of mean streamwise velocity (left) and turbulent kinetic energy (right)

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Fig. 3

Grid independence study for (a) ADM, (b) ALM, and (c) FRM rotor models. Mean streamwise velocity (u¯) is measured 0.5D downstream. The number of cells is calculated over a circular region centered at the rotor hub with a diameter of 150 m (coinciding with the sliding mesh surface of the FRM).

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Fig. 4

Computational grid for FRM simulations of two turbines with 5D spacing (left) and grid of a sliding mesh domain for a turbine rotor enclosed (right).

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Fig. 5

Contours of streamwise velocity (m/s) for single turbine models. ADM (top), ALM (center), FRM (bottom).

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Fig. 6

Comparison of downstream vertical profiles of streamwise velocity (m/s) for (a) ADM, (b) ALM, and (c) FRM

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Fig. 7

Contours of turbulence intensity for single turbine models. ADM (top), ALM (center), FRM (bottom).

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Fig. 8

Grid independence study of maximum turbine blade pressure compared to the theoretical maximum Bernoulli pressure

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Fig. 9

Contours of pressure (Pa) along blade surfaces

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Fig. 10

Contours of streamwise velocity (m/s) for inline turbines spaced 5D apart. ADM (top), ALM (center), FRM (bottom).

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Fig. 11

Comparison of downstream vertical profiles of streamwise velocity (m/s) for (a) 0.5D downstream and (b) 4D downstream for first and second turbines (T1 and T2, respectively)

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Fig. 12

Contours of turbulence intensity for inline turbines spaced 5D apart. ADM (top), ALM (center), FRM (bottom).

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