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Energies 2017, 10(9), 1420; doi:10.3390/en10091420

The Influence of Eroded Blades on Wind Turbine Performance Using Numerical Simulations

1
Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology, Küpkersweg 70, Oldenburg 26129, Germany
2
ForWind, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118, Oldenburg 26129, Germany
3
Blade Repair Solutions, Hedevej 25, Hadsund 9560, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Turbine Loads and Wind Plant Performance)
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Abstract

During their operation, wind turbine blades are eroded due to rain and hail, or they are contaminated with insects. Since the relative inflow velocity is higher at the outer than at the inner part of the blades, erosion occurs mostly at the outer blade region. In order to prevent strong erosion, it is possible to install a leading edge protection, which can be applied to the blades after the initial installation, but changes the shape of the initial airfoil sections. It is unclear how this modification influences the aerodynamic performance of the turbine. Hence, it is investigated in this work. The NREL 5 MW turbine is simulated with clean and eroded blades, which are compared to coated blades equipped with leading edge protection. Aerodynamic polars are generated by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics, and load calculations are conducted using the blade element momentum theory. The analysis in this work shows that, compared to clean rotor blades, the worse aerodynamic behaviour of strongly eroded blades can lead to power losses of 9 % . In contrast, coated blades only have a small impact on the turbine power of less than 1 % . View Full-Text
Keywords: erosion; rotor blades; airfoil simulation; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Blade Element Momentum theory erosion; rotor blades; airfoil simulation; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Blade Element Momentum theory
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schramm, M.; Rahimi, H.; Stoevesandt, B.; Tangager, K. The Influence of Eroded Blades on Wind Turbine Performance Using Numerical Simulations. Energies 2017, 10, 1420.

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