Comparison of 3D transitional CFD simulations for rotating wind turbine wings with measurements: Paper

A P Schaffarczyk*, R Boisard, K Boorsma, B Dose, C Lienard, T Lutz, H Å Madsen, H Rahimi, T Reichstein, G Schepers, N Sørensen, B Stoevesandt, P Weihing

*Corresponding author for this work

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Since the investigation of van Ingen et al., attempts were undertaken to search for laminar parts within the boundary layer of wind turbines operating in the lower atmosphere with much higher turbulence levels than seen in wind tunnels or at higher altitudes where airplanes usually fly. Based on the results of the DAN-Aero experiment and the Aerodynamic Glove project, a special work package Boundary Layer Transition was embedded in IAEwind Task 29 MexNext 3rd phase (MN3). Here, we report on the results of the application of various CFD tools to predict transition on the MEXICO blade. In addition, recent results from a comparison of thermographic pictures (aimed at detecting transition) with 3D transitional CFD are included as well. The MEXICO (2006) and NEW MEXICO (2014) wind tunnel experiments on a turbine equipped with three 2.5 m blades have been described extensively in the literature. In addition, during MN3, high-frequency Kulite data from experiments were used to detect traces of transitional effects. Complementary, the following set of codes were applied to cases 1.1 and 1.2 (axial inflow with 10 m/s and 15 m/s respectively) – elsA, CFX, OpenFOAM (with 2 different turbulence/transitional models), Ellipsys, (with 2 different turbulence models and eN transition prediction tool), FLOWer and TAU – to search for detection of laminar parts by means of simulation. Obviously, the flow around a rotating blade is much more complicated than around a simple 2D section. Therefore, results for even integrated quantities like thrust and torque are varying strongly. Nevertheless, visible differences between fully turbulent and transitional set-ups are present. We discuss our findings, especially with respect to turbulence and transition models used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number022012
Book seriesJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Science of Making Torque from Wind 2018 - Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), Milan, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201822 Jun 2018
Conference number: 7


ConferenceThe Science of Making Torque from Wind 2018
LocationPolitecnico di Milano (POLIMI)
Internet address

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