Fast Trailed Vorticity Modeling for Wind Turbine Aerodynamics and its Influence on Aeroelastic Stability

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In this work, an aerodynamic model for the use in aeroelastic wind turbine codes is presented. It consists of a simplified lifting line model covering the induction due to the trailed vorticity in the near wake, a 2D shed vorticity model and a far wake model using the well known blade element momentum (BEM) theory. The model is an extension of unsteady BEM models, which provides a radial coupling of the aerodynamic sections through the trailed vorticity. The model is very fast and slows down aeroelastic wind turbine simulations by only few percent, compared to an unsteady BEM model. Compared to earlier implementations, the model has been improved in several ways: Among other things, the need for model-specific user input has been removed, the effect of downwind convection of the trailed vorticity is modeled, the near wake induction is iterated to stabilize the computations and the numerical efficiency is increased. The model is validated against results from full rotor CFD and free wake panel code computations, which show that the model yields improved results in steady and unsteady simulations compared to unsteady BEM modeling. Especially the aerodynamic work due to prescribed in-plane and out-of-plane vibrations agrees much better with high fidelity models. Further, the trailed vorticity effects on the aerodynamic work are found to be of the same order of magnitude as the shed vorticity effects. The trailed vorticity effects are, however, mainly important close to the tip in the investigated cases, which is where the major part of the aerodynamic work is generated. The aerodynamic model is further applied to determine the critical speed of a freely rotating wind turbine rotor with respect to the aeroelastic instability classical flutter. The NREL 5MW reference turbine is used for the computations, but the torsional and flapwise stiffness are varied between 70% and 130% of their original value to obtain more general results. In all computed cases, the trailed vorticity increases the critical rotor speeds by four to ten percent. Future work is to compute a full load basis using the new aerodynamic model to evaluate the impact of trailed vorticity modeling on fatigue and extreme loads. The model will further be implemented in the aeroelastic stability tool HAWCStab2.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDTU Wind Energy
Number of pages123
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-92896-59-9
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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