Research Papers

Aerodynamic Analysis of an Airfoil With Leading Edge Pitting Erosion

[+] Author and Article Information
Yan Wang

Key Laboratory of Mechanics on
Environment and Disaster in Western China,
Ministry of Education,
Lanzhou University,
Lanzhou 730000, China;
School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Lanzhou University of Technology,
Lanzhou 730050, China

Ruifeng Hu

Research Center for Applied Mechanics,
School of Mechano-Electronic Engineering,
Xidian University,
Xi'an 710126, China

Xiaojing Zheng

Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Environment
and Disaster in Western China,
Ministry of Education,
Lanzhou University,
Lanzhou 730000, China;
Research Center for Applied Mechanics,
School of Mechano-Electronic Engineering,
Xidian University,
Xi'an 710126, China
e-mail: xjzheng@lzu.edu.cn

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 February 8, 2017; final manuscript received June 15, 2017; published online August 31, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(6), 061002 (Aug 31, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1052; doi: 10.1115/1.4037380 History: Received February 08, 2017; Revised June 15, 2017

Leading edge erosion is a considerable threat to wind turbine performance and blade maintenance, and it is very imperative to accurately predict the influence of various degrees of erosion on wind turbine performance. In the present study, an attempt to investigate the effects of leading edge erosion on the aerodynamics of wind turbine airfoil is undertaken by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. A new pitting erosion model is proposed and semicircle cavities were used to represent the erosion pits in the simulation. Two-dimensional incompressible Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equation and shear stress transport (SST) k–ω turbulence model are adopted to compute the aerodynamics of a S809 airfoil with leading edge pitting erosions, where the influences of pits depth, densities, distribution area, and locations are considered. The results indicate that pitting erosion has remarkably undesirable influences on the aerodynamic performance of the airfoil, and the critical pits depth, density, and distribution area degrade the airfoil aerodynamic performance mostly were obtained. In addition, the dominant parameters are determined by the correlation coefficient path analysis method, results showed that all parameters have non-negligible effects on the aerodynamics of S809 airfoil, and the Reynolds number is of the most important, followed by pits density, pits depth, and pits distribution area. Meanwhile, the direct and indirect effects of these factors are analyzed, and it is found that the indirect effects are very small and the parameters can be considered to be independent with each other.

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Fig. 1

Photograph of the leading edge with pitting erosion. A photograph from the company of wind turbine equipment maintenance [21].

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Fig. 2

The pitting erosion model. (a) The equivalent erosion pits and its distribution. (b) Location of pitting erosion area on an S809 airfoil.

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Fig. 3

Computational domain

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Fig. 4

Global grid and local grid near the leading edge, trailing edge, and the pits

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Fig. 5

The value of y plus adjacent to the airfoil

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Fig. 6

Grid generation schemes inside the pits

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Fig. 7

Lift and drag coefficients versus α for noneroded airfoil at Re = 1.0 × 106: (a) lift coefficient and (b) drag coefficient

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Fig. 8

Pressure coefficient obtained with SST k–ω turbulence model at the angles of attack 8.1 deg and 15 deg

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Fig. 9

Streamlines and velocity contours for the pitting eroded airfoil obtained with SST k–ω and transitional SST turbulence model. From left to right: flow around the airfoil, flow near the pits at the suction surface, and flow around the tailing edge: (a) SST k–ω model and (b) transition SST model.

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Fig. 10

Pressure coefficients obtained with SST k–ω and transitional SST turbulence model at the angles of attack 8.1 deg and 10.1 deg

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Fig. 11

The value of Cl/Cd versus α for airfoil with various pitting erosion depths

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Fig. 12

The relative decrease of Cl/Cd for airfoil with a growing pits size

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Fig. 13

Computed lift and drag coefficients with different erosion depth

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Fig. 14

Streamlines and velocity contours for S809 airfoils with various pitting erosion depth at Re = 1.0 × 106 (α = 8.1 deg): (a) smooth airfoil, (b) h = 0.1 mm, (c) h = 0.2 mm, (d) h = 0.3 mm, (e) h = 0.5 mm, (f) h = 0.8 mm, (g) h = 1.0 mm, (h) h = 1.5 mm, (i) h = 2.0 mm, and (j) h = 2.5 mm

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Fig. 15

Lift and drag coefficients of airfoils with various pits densities

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Fig. 16

The streamlines around the pitting eroded leading edge (a). The leading edge with equally distributed erosion pits. (b) The leading edge with random distributed pits.

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Fig. 17

Streamlines and velocity magnitude contours for airfoils with various pitting erosion densities. (a) Smooth airfoil. (b) The distance between two erosion pits is 8d. (c) The distance between two erosion pits is 4d. (d) The distance between two erosion pits is 1d.

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Fig. 18

Lift and drag coefficients under different pit erosion areas

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Fig. 19

Pressure coefficients for the airfoil with various pitting erosion areas

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Fig. 20

The lift decrease for airfoil with pitting erosion at various locations

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Fig. 21

A path diagram and coefficients of pitting erosion parameters




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