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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(6), 551;

The Aerodynamic Analysis of a Rotating Wind Turbine by Viscous-Coupled 3D Panel Method

Department of Engineering Science and Ocean Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Research Department, CR Classification Society, 8th Fl., No. 103, Sec. 3, Nanking E. Rd., Taipei 104, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Ficarella
Received: 11 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2728 KB, uploaded 26 May 2017]   |  


In addition to the many typical failure mechanisms that afflict wind turbines, units in Taiwan are also susceptible to catastrophic failure from typhoon-induced extreme loads. A key component of the strategy to prevent such failures is a fast, accurate aerodynamic analysis tool through which a fuller understanding of aerodynamic loads acting on the units may be derived. To this end, a viscous-coupled 3D panel method is herewith proposed, which introduces a novel approach to simulating the severe flow separation so prevalent around wind turbine rotors. The validity of the current method’s results was assessed by code-to-code comparison with RANS data for a commercial 2 MW wind turbine rotor. Along the outboard and inboard regions of the rotor, pressure distributions predicted by the current method showed excellent agreement with the RANS data, while pressure data along the midspan region were slightly more conservative. The power curve predicted by the current method was also more conservative than that predicted by the RANS solver, but correlated very well with that provided by the turbine manufacturer. Taking into account the high degree of comparability with the more sophisticated RANS solver, the excellent agreement with the official data, and the considerably reduced computational expense, the author believes the proposed method could be a powerful standalone tool for the design and analysis of wind turbine blades, or could be applied to the emerging field of wind farm layout design by providing accurate body force input to actuator line rotors within full Navier-Stokes models of multi-unit wind farms. View Full-Text
Keywords: CFD; panel method; boundary layer; flow separation; thick wake; actuator line model; wind farm CFD; panel method; boundary layer; flow separation; thick wake; actuator line model; wind farm

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Nelson, B.; Kouh, J.-S. The Aerodynamic Analysis of a Rotating Wind Turbine by Viscous-Coupled 3D Panel Method. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 551.

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