Comparison of aerodynamic models for horizontal axis wind turbine blades accounting for curved tip shapes

Sergio González Horcas*, Néstor Ramos-García, Ang Li, Georg Pirrung, Thanasis Barlas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Curved tip extensions are among the rotor innovation concepts that can contribute to the higher performance and lower cost of horizontal axis wind turbines. One of the key drivers to exploit their advantages is the use of accurate and efficient computational aerodynamic models during the design stage. The present work gives an overview of the performance of different state-of-the-art models. The following tools were employed, in descending order of complexity: (i) a blade-resolved Navier Stokes solver, (ii) a lifting line model, (iii) a vortex-based method coupling a near-wake model with a far-wake model, and (iv) two implementations of the widely used blade element momentum method (BEM), with and without radial induction. The predictions of the codes were compared when simulating the baseline geometry of a reference wind turbine and different tip extension designs with relatively large sweep angle and/or dihedral angle. Four load cases were selected for this comparison, to cover several aspects of the aerodynamic modeling: steady power curve, pitch step, extreme operating gust impact, and standstill in deep stall. The present study highlighted the limitations of the BEM-based formulations to capture the trends attributed to the introduction of curvature at the tip. This was true even when using the radial induction submodel. The rest of the computational methods showed relatively good agreement in most of the studied load cases. An exception to this was the standstill configuration, as the blade-resolved Navier-Stokes solver was the only code able to capture the highly unsteady effects of deep stall.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • IEA 10 MW RWT
  • Computational aerodynamics
  • Computational aeroelasticity
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Blade Element Momentum
  • Lifting Line
  • Near wake


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