Wind Turbine (3-D) Considering Turbine Base, ANSYS Fluent Simulation Training

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This project will study an incompressible isothermal airflow close to a standard horizontal axis wind turbine considering its base by ANSYS Fluent software.

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

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Project Description

Standard Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) is becoming ever more important in wind power generation. Fortunately, it is known that HAWTs have higher efficiency compare to VAWTs. Thus, they have been employed in open fields and can produce energy from the wind.

This project will study an incompressible isothermal airflow close to a standard horizontal axis wind turbine. The geometry is a wind turbine with a 30-meter base inside a 300-meter wind tunnel. Also, we select the maximum speed of 1 m/s is for the wind and the turbine velocity of 30 RPM.

wind turbine

Wind Turbine and Base, Geometry and Mesh

As a numerical study, the initial step towards the modeling is the production of the CAD geometry. We consider the blue face as the inlet of the domain while the red face as the outlet.

wind turbine

For the current problem, we generate a mesh count of 1,981,472 elements to represent the geometry. Regarding the quality of the mesh, the maximum skewness of 0.91 with an average of 0.22 is satisfactory. In addition, for an interested reader, we depicted the quality distribution of mesh as below. Also, we added 5 layers for our prism elements to accurately calculate the boundary layer. Finally, we performed the meshing operation via ANSYS-Meshing software.

wind turbine wind turbinewind turbinewind turbine

Wind Turbine CFD Simulation Settings

When we import the mesh into the ANSYS-FLUENT solver, the calculation procedure could be started. The details of the solution setup are as follows:

Table (1)- Solver Settings

Solver settings:
Type: Pressure-based
Time setting: Steady-state
Gravity: Off
Energy: Off
Model: k-w-SST
Zone: Static fluid zone: Rectangular Box: default

Rotary fluid zone: Cylindrical: Frame-Motion

Axis: X-direction, (0,0,0)

Rotational Speed: 30 RPM

Boundary conditions: Turbine Walls: No-slip

Inlet: velocity inlet: 1 m/s

Outlet: pressure outlet

FarWalls: Symmetry

Solver Properties:
Solution methods: SIMPLE
Pressure interpolation scheme: Second-Order
Momentum: Second-Order
Turbulence: First-Order
Relaxation: Default, Number of Iterations = 1000
Initialization: Standard > from inlet
Material used:
Fluid: Air – constant properties

Density: 1.225 kg/(m3)

Viscosity: 1.7894×10-5 (Pa.s)

Monitor: Drag Value of Blade wall in X-direction

Results and Discussions

After we converge the solution, we could obtain the results through post-processing. Meanwhile, as an assurance for a valid convergence, the drag and Y-plus values were monitored during the solution iterations. This study decided that the solution is converged when the drag force reached a constant rate and the residuals were below 10-5 values.Afterward, the results regarding the pressure and the velocity field are depicted in the below figures. The leading edge of the turbine wall corresponded to the lowest pressure, which is entirely logical since the velocity has the highest value on the tip of the turbine blade. For the velocity field, we depicted both contour and streamlines to get much insight into the problem. Briefly, the velocity field adjacent to the wall of the turbine has the highest gradient.

Additionally, the streamlines illustrate the quality of the flow streams resolved in the wake section, which is the core challenge of aerodynamic simulation.Finally, we have found that the drag force is 1.067 (kN), which was accurate for a wind turbine with a 30-meter base with the noted specifications.

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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