Partially Parabolic Wind Turbine Flow Modelling

University essay from KTH/Mekanik

Abstract: Climate change is an evermore urging existential treat to the human enterprise. Mean temperature and greenhouse gas emissions have in-creased exponentially since the industrial revolution. But solutions are also mushrooming with exponential pace. Renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar power, are deployed like never before and their costs have decreased significantly. In order to allow for further transformation of the energy system these technologies must be refined and optimised. In wind energy one important field with high potential of refinement is aerodynamics. The aerodynamics of wind turbines constitutes one challenging research frontier in aerodynamics today.   In this study, a novel approach for calculating wind turbine flow is developed. The approach is based on the partially parabolic Navier-Stokes equations, which can be solved computationally with higher efficiency as compared to the fully elliptic version. The modelling of wind turbine thrust is done using actuator-disk theory and the torque is modelled by application of the Joukowsky rotor. A validation of the developed model and force implementation is conducted using four different validation cases.   In order to provide value for industrial wind energy projects, the model must be extended to account for turbulence (and terrain in case of onshore projects). Possible candidates for turbulence modelling are parabolic k-ε and explicit Reynolds stress turbulence models. The terrain could possibly be incorporated consistently with the used projection method by altering the finite difference grid layout.

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