(HAWT) 3-Blade Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine ANSYS Fluent CFD Simulation Training

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The present study deals with the airflow on the HAWT blades so that the purpose of the problem is to study the distribution of velocity and pressure on the blades.

This product includes Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Problem Description for HAWT CFD Simulation

The present study deals with the airflow on the HAWT blades so that the purpose of the problem is to study the distribution of velocity and pressure on the surface of the blades and on their body. There are three areas around the blades for airflow. There is An area around the blades, an area in the front of the blades, and an area behind the blades. The airflow behaves normally in the front and behind the blades, while in the area around the blades, the rotational motion of the blades causes the rotational flow.


We consider several assumptions to simulate the present problem:

The simulation of the problem is STEADY because the wind turbine is horizontal and therefore the transient effect on drag and lift forces is not taken into account.

A pressure-based solver is used for the simulation.

The effect of the earth’s gravity on the flow of fluid has not been considered.

Geometry & Mesh of HAWT

The present 3-D model was designed by SOLIDWORKS software and imported to Design Modeler software. The present turbine has three blades, a rotary axis, and a domain around the blades. The unstructured triangular mesh was carried out by ANSYS Meshing software and the element number is equal to 4270222.

Simulation Steps

Here is a summary of the steps to define and solve the problem in the table:

 (Model) HAWT
k-omega SST
(boundary conditions) HAWT
inlet velocity inlet
velocity 15 m.s-1
outlet Pressure outlet
pressure 0 kPa
(Methods) HAWT
coupling Simple
discretization momentum Second order upwind
kinetic First order upwind
dissipation rate First order upwind
y velocity 15 m.s-1

Applying k-omega SST for HAWT CFD Simulation

Since the present simulation is related to the external flow, the K-Omega SST model has been used. This model of k-omega operates as a hybrid function, which results in a gradual transfer of flow from the k-omega model for near-wall regions to the k-epsilon model in areas beyond the boundary layer. This model is used for reverse pressure gradient flows and in airfoil simulations. Since the wall function does not define in the k-omega model, finer grids should be used in areas close to the airfoil walls. However, in this turbulence model, the probability of divergence increases due to the transition from one model to another.

MRF for HAWT CFD Simulation

Frame Motion

The purpose of the present simulation is to investigate the effect of wind flow on the turbine blades and to calculate the Drag and Lift forces applied to the blade surfaces. In this problem, the turbine blades rotate at a rotational speed of 72 rad.s-1 on the horizontal axis and the air in the area surrounding the blades is stationary. Using the MRF method, the blades can be assumed to be constant and the wind flow around the blades is rotated to the same rotational speed of 72 rad.s-1 around the y-axis. Also, since the simulation is Steady, the Mesh Motion option is disabled because it is used when the time effect must be applied to problem-solving and the purpose of the problem is to define the rotational speed for the blade.

You can obtain Geometry & Mesh file, and a comprehensive Training Movie which presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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