Wind tunnel testing of a swept tip shape and comparison with multi-fidelity aerodynamic simulations

T. Barlas*, G. R. Pirrung, N. Ramos-García, S. G. Horcas, R. F. Mikkelsen, A. S. Olsen, M. Gaunaa

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    One promising design solution for increasing the efficiency of modern horizontal axis wind turbines is the installation of curved tip extensions. However, introducing such complex geometries may move traditional aerodynamic models based on blade element momentum (BEM) theory out of their range of applicability. This motivated the present work, where a swept tip shape is investigated by means of both experimental and numerical tests. The latter group accounted for a wide variety of aerodynamic models, allowing us to highlight the capabilities and limitations of each of them in a relative manner. The considered swept tip shape is the result of a design optimization, focusing on locally maximizing power performance within load constraints. For the experimental tests, the tip model is instrumented with spanwise bands of pressure sensors and is tested in the Poul la Cour wind tunnel at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The methods used for the numerical tests consisted of a blade element model, a near-wake model, lifting-line free-wake models, and a fully resolved Navier–Stokes solver. The comparison of the numerical and the experimental test results is performed for a given range of angles of attack and wind speeds, which is representative of the expected conditions in operation. Results show that the blade element model cannot predict the measured normal force coefficients, but the other methods are generally in good agreement with the measurements in attached flow. Flow visualization and pressure distribution compare well with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The agreement in the clean case is better than in the tripped case at the inboard sections. Some uncertainties regarding the effect of the boundary layer at the inboard tunnel wall and the post-stall behavior remain.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWind Energy Science
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1311-1324
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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