Feasibility Study of a 3D CFD Solution for FSI Investigations on NREL 5MW Wind Turbine Blade
With the increase in length of wind turbine blades flutter is becoming a potential design constrain, hence the interest in computational tools for fluid-structure interaction studies. The general approach to this problem makes use of simplified aerodynamic computational tools. Scope of this work is to investigate the outcomes of a 3D CFD simulation of a complete wind turbine blade, both in terms of numerical results and computational cost. The model studied is a 5MW theoretical wind turbine from NREL. The simulation was performed with ANSYS-CFX, with different volume mesh and turbulence model, in steady-state and transient mode. The convergence history and computational time was analyzed, and the pressure distribution was compared to a high fidelity numerical result of the same blade. All the model studied were about two orders of magnitude lighter than the reference in computation time, while showing comparable results in most of the cases. The results were affected more by turbulence model than mesh density, and some turbulence models did not converge to a solution. In general seems possible to obtain good results from a complete 3D CFD simulation while keeping the computational cost reasonably low. Attention should be paid to mesh quality.
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