Water Turbine (Horizontal Axis), ANSYS Fluent CFD Simulation Training

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The present study investigates the water flow on the horizontal axis water turbine blades so that the purpose of the problem is to investigate the distribution of velocity and pressure on the blades wall.

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Water Turbine Problem Description

The present study investigates the water flow on the horizontal axis water turbine (VAWT) blades so that the purpose of the problem is to investigate the distribution of velocity and pressure on the blades wall by ANSYS Fluent software. There are two areas around the blades, including a cylindrical area just around the blades and a large area around the cylinder. The flow of water in the large outer space behaves as a normal flow, while in the cylindrical region around the blades, the rotational flow is caused by the rotational motion of the blades.

CFD Assumption

To simulate the present problem, several assumptions are considered:

The simulation is Steady State. Because the present turbine is of horizontal axis type and therefore time will not affect drag and lift forces.

The solver is Pressure-Based.

The Gravity Force is ignored.

Geometry and Mesh of the Water Turbine

The present model is designed in 3-D form so that the section of the turbine blades is a S814-type airfoil whose coordinates are obtained from the Airfoil Tools website and output in the form of a notepad file. Since the airfoil cross section of the blades decreases or increases with different scales at a given scale, excel is used to define the coordinates of the blades at different points. Each airfoil section is then plotted in SOLIDWORKS software at appropriate angles and coordinates and then inserted into the Design Modeler software to design the blades and axis of the turbine. In the Design Modeler software, we create a rotational water flow around the turbine blades and a large space designed as a normal water flow space.

An Unstructured mesh was performed using ANSYS Meshing software. To increase the accuracy of the modeling, the boundary layer mesh on the surfaces of the turbine blades was used and the number of cells produced was 4270222.

Water Turbine CFD Simulation

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

k-omega Viscous model
SST k-omega model
Boundry conditions
Velocity inlet Inlet type
1 m.s-1 velocity
Pressure outlet Outlet type
0 Pa gauge pressure
wall Walls type
stationary wall all walls
Solution Methods (water turbine)
Simple   Pressure-velocity coupling
Second-order upwind pressure Spatial discretization
Second-order upwind momentum
Second-order upwind turbulent kinetic energy
Second-order upwind turbulent dissipation rate
Initialization (water turbine)
Standard Initialization method
-1 m.s-1 velocity (z)

Frame Motion Method

The purpose of the present simulation is to investigate the effect of water flow on turbine blades. In this case, the turbine blades rotate at a rotational speed of 191 rpm and the water in the area surrounding the blades is stationary. Using the above method, the blades can be assumed to be constant and the flow of water around the blades is assumed to be a rotating zone with the same rotational speed of 191 rpm around the Z axis. Also, since the simulation is Steady State, the Mesh Motion option is disabled because it is used when the time effect must be applied to the 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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