The size of wind turbine rotors is still rapidly increasing, though many technical challenges emerge. Novel rotor designs emerge to satisfy this up-scale trend, such as downwind load-aligned concepts, which orients the loads along the blade spanwise to greatly decrease the bending moments at the root. As the studies on the aerodynamics of these rotor concepts using 3D body-fitted mesh are very limited, this paper establishes different cone configurations based on the DTU 10 MW reference rotor and conducts a series of simulations. It is found that the cone angle and the distance from the blade section to the tip vortex are two deterministic factors on conning. Upwind rotors have larger power output, less thrust, smaller wake deficit, and smaller influencing area than downwind rotors of the same size, which provides superior aerodynamic priority and benefits wind farm design. The largest upwind cone angle of 14.03 degrees, among the cases studied, leads to the highest torque to thrust ratio which is 3.63% higher than the baseline rotor. The downwind load-aligned rotor, designed to reduce the blade root bending moments at large wind speed, performs worse at the present simulation conditions than an upwind rotor of the same size.
- Wind turbine