Evaluation of tip loss corrections to AD/NS simulations of wind turbine aerodynamic performance

Wei Zhong, Tong Guang Wang, Wei Jun Zhu, Wen Zhong Shen

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    The Actuator Disc/Navier-Stokes (AD/NS) method has played a significant role in wind farm simulations. It is based on the assumption that the flow is azimuthally uniform in the rotor plane, and thus, requires a tip loss correction to take into account the effect of a finite number of blades. All existing tip loss corrections were originally proposed for the Blade-Element Momentum Theory (BEMT), and their implementations have to be changed when transplanted into the AD/NS method. The special focus of the present study is to investigate the performance of tip loss corrections combined in the AD/NS method. The study is conducted by using an axisymmetric AD/NS solver to simulate the flow past the experimental NREL Phase VI wind turbine and the virtual NREL 5MW wind turbine. Three different implementations of the widely used Glauert tip loss function F are discussed and evaluated. In addition, a newly developed tip loss correction is applied and compared with the above implementations. For both the small and large rotors under investigation, the three different implementations show a certain degree of difference to each other, although the relative difference in blade loads is generally no more than 4%. Their performance is roughly consistent with the standard Glauert correction employed in the BEMT, but they all tend to make the blade tip loads over-predicted. As an alternative method, the new tip loss correction shows superior performance in various flow conditions. A further investigation into the flow around and behind the rotors indicates that tip loss correction has a significant influence on the velocity development in the wake.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4919
    JournalApplied Sciences (switzerland)
    Issue number22
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Wind turbine aerodynamics
    • Actuator disc
    • AD/NS
    • Tip loss correction
    • Blade element momentum


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