Renewable energies are forms of energy that are infinite in terms of availability. Examples include solar power, wind energy, hydroelectric energy, and geothermal energy. The benefits of the widespread implementation of these forms of energy are clear. They have a less environmental impact, more labor-intensive job creation, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and unlimited availability. Renewable energy engineering is an emerging discipline.
Besides, green energy is the type of energy produced from energy sources that are environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. It includes all the renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower. Green energy is often considered when it comes to issues such as cogeneration and heating. Industrials can purchase it to support environmentally friendly living by reducing impacts to the environment that occur when conventional methods of generating are used. By doing so, industrials assist in increasing the energy dependence of their country. Today, energy certificates known as green certificates can be purchased to support the use of green practices. Many organizations are seriously looking into becoming green in their day-to-day operation, so a course in Green might be just what you need right now.
Renewable Energy Engineers will cover Wind, Solar, Hydro, Geothermal, and Biomass and identify and develop sustainable systems for electricity generation. This will include a broad knowledge of renewable energy sources and technologies, assessing the feasibility of alternative energy options, and making recommendations based on site-specific resource characteristics. Much like energy engineers in general, renewable energy engineers can be responsible for several things. For example, a renewable energy engineer may serve as a researcher or consultant, examining ways to improve energy extraction projects to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly. Or a renewable energy engineer may work in the mechanical sector, designing machines and other devices to harness energy more efficiently.
How to Improve the Performance of Renewable Energy Engineering using CFD simulations?
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been firmly established as a fundamental discipline for advancing research on energy engineering. The CFD simulation methods enable engineers working in the renewable energy industry to understand the physical phenomena better, simulate designs, and optimize equipment or machinery without leaving the web browser. CFD can be a valuable tool in the early design process by providing a full range of analyses, including fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and thermodynamics.
A wide range of renewable energy equipment can benefit from CFD simulations. From turbines, rotors, blades, and other components to photovoltaic panels, valves, recipients, junctions, boilers, and heating machines, design engineers and mechanical engineers can virtually test and optimize products in less time and at a significantly lower cost just by using this simple, yet powerful tool.
CFD for Optimizing the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
Developed markets based upon wind energy technology have arisen with the means to efficiently transform available wind energy into a valuable form of energy such as electricity. The primary core of this technology contains the wind turbine, a type of turbomachinery that transfers mechanical energy through blades, converting one form of energy to another. The wind potential is distributed irregularly throughout the world. The northern and western parts experience higher winds than the southern parts, illustrating that the conventional wind turbines cannot provide comparable performance throughout. Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) can be altered to improve their performance and self-starting capabilities.
Compared to the HAWT, the main benefit of the VAWT is the Omnidirectional capabilities allowing it to utilize the wind energy in any wind direction and consequently not require a yaw and pitch system which adds significantly to the cost.
Using CFD, the wind turbine’s performance can be maximized by changing the geometry and configuration of the model.
CFD for Improving the Solar Collector
Heating and household hot water systems consume far more energy than other domestic appliances and represent the most significant proportion of CO2 emissions from domestic energy consumption. As part of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, solar water heating has been widely promoted as one of the most practical energy-saving measures. Solar water heating systems use solar energy at the point of use and decrease the need for fossil fuels; they are generally designed to meet 90% of the heating demand in summer. Up to 50% of the heating demand averaged over 12 months. Then solar thermal systems have encountered a high interest over the last years in many locations worldwide.
Nowadays, the dynamic thermal behavior of solar collectors has been numerically developed using several numerical models. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) codes have been widely used to model these solar thermal collectors to understand thermal behavior better and optimize these solar systems.
CFD, in the Case of Tidal Turbine
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is becoming an ever-increasingly powerful tool for assessing the performance of tidal generators. In the hands of an experienced CFD practitioner, realistic tide profiles can be applied to the simulation to gain valuable insight into the performance of conceptual designs earlier in the design process.
Many challenges associated with tidal turbines differentiate them from wind turbines. For example, the length scales associated with their operation are significantly higher than those found around wind turbines. The influence of the turbulent inflow has a dramatic effect on both performance and wake regions, ultimately affecting the model’s subsequent accuracy.
This article covered a small number of CFD applications in improving Renewable Energy Engineering. The Renewable Energy Industry is full of applications for CFD. From the Vertical axis Wind turbine to solar chimnies. Fluid dynamics are fundamental to most facets of Renewable Energy. Although full-scale prototypes are standard for later stages of development, design and optimization during earlier stages can be significantly accelerated with CFD studies.
The MR-CFD team conducted extensive outsourcing research on Renewable Energy engineering applications and simulation projects. With several years of experience simulating various problems in various CFD fields using ANSYS Fluent software, the MR-CFD team is ready to offer extensive services of simulation configurations. For instance, some of the projects freelanced and carried out by MR-CFD that have industrial applications include the Liam F1 Wind Turbine simulation, which shows how it behaves under certain airspeeds. Currently, the most-efficient wind turbine designs aren’t suitable for residential installation. They require enough height to catch the wind to be of any use, and then there are the noise complaints. Could bird strikes cause concern, similar to large-scale wind farms. Scaling-down wind turbines don’t help a whole lot with these problems, so residential systems remain an oddity. However, a new small-scale wind turbine named Liam-F1 Urban Wind Turbine was recently designed.
The Solar Chimney for a Room HVAC project is another example of a CFD project that MR-CFD has simulated successfully. In this project, MR-CFD experts simulated the solar radiation effect on the solar chimney and analyzed the temperature all over the chimney.
Solar chimneys are now a reality, especially in regions with high solar radiation; it is a promising technology to exploit and convert solar energy into electrical energy.
One of the other great projects of the MR-CFD team in Energy Engineering is the Archimedes Screw Turbine (AST) simulation. In this project, the team tried to model the rotation movement of the water on the AST turbines.
The Archimedean screw turbine is set on rivers with a relatively low head (from 0.1 m to 10 m) and low flow rates (0.01 m³/s up to around ten m³/s on one turbine). Due to the construction and slow motion of the turbine blades, the turbine is considered friendly to aquatic wildlife.
Water flows freely, and its weight acts on the curved blades of the turbine worm. Emerging rotational movement via a flexible coupling bolt transmitted to the gearbox continues into the generator.
MR-CFD, an Expert in the Field of Renewable Energy Simulations
With several years of experience in simulating various problems in different CFD fields using ANSYS Fluent software, the MR-CFD Company is ready to offer extensive modeling, meshing, and simulation services. Our simulation Services for Renewable Energy simulations are categorized as follows:
- Vertical axis Wind turbine (Savonius, Darrieus, Giromill …)
- Horizontal axis wind turbine (a single blade, two-blade, three-blade …)
- Solar water heater
- Solar collector (parabolic, flat plate …)
- Using wind velocity in windcatcher
- Tidal turbine
- Solar air heater
- Using wind velocity for cross and single-side ventilation
- Solar Chimney
You may find the related products to the Renewable Energy simulation category in Training Shop.
Our services are not limited to the mentioned subjects, and the MR-CFD is ready to undertake different and challenging projects in the Renewable Energy Engineering modeling field ordered by our customers. We even accept carrying out CFD simulation for any abstract or concept design you have in your mind to turn them into reality and even help you reach the best design for what you may have imagined. You can benefit from MR-CFD expert consultation for free and then order your project to be simulated and trained.
By outsourcing your project to the MR-CFD as a CFD simulation freelancer, you will not only receive the related project’s resource files (Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, …), but also you will be provided with an extensive tutorial video demonstrating how you can create the geometry, mesh, and define the needed settings(pre-processing, processing and post-processing) in the ANSYS Fluent software all by yourself. Additionally, post-technical support is available to clarify issues and ambiguities.