Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2022-65
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2022-65
 
22 Jul 2022
22 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

CFD modeling of actual eroded wind turbine blade

Kisorthman Vimalakanthan, Harald van der Mijle Meijer, Iana Bakhmet, and Gerard Schepers Kisorthman Vimalakanthan et al.
  • TNO, Westerduinweg 3, 1755 LE Petten, Netherlands

Abstract. Leading edge erosion (LEE) is one of the most critical degradation mechanisms that occur with wind turbine blades (WTBs), generally starting from the tip section of the blade. A detailed understanding of the LEE process and the impact on aerodynamic performance due to the damaged leading edge (LE) is required to select the most appropriate Leading Edge Protection (LEP) system and optimize blade maintenance. Providing accurate modeling tools is therefore essential.

This paper presents a two-part study investigating Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling approaches for different orders of magnitudes in erosion damage. The first part details the flow transition modeling for eroded surfaces with roughness in the order of 0.1–0.2 mm, while the second part focuses on a novel study modeling high-resolution scanned LE surfaces from an actual blade with LEE damage in the order of 10–20 mm (approx. 1 % chord). 2D and 3D surface resolved Reynolds Average Navier Stokes (RANS) CFD models have been applied to investigate wind turbine blade section in the Reynolds number range of 3–6 million.

From the first part, the calibrated CFD model for modeling flow transition accounting roughness shows good agreement of the aerodynamic forces for airfoils with leading-edge roughness heights in the order of 140–200 μm, while showing poor agreement for smaller roughness heights in the order of 100 μm. Results from the second part of the study indicate that up to 3.3 % reduction in AEP can be expected when the LE shape is degraded by 0.8 % of the chord, based on the NREL 5MW turbine. The results also suggest that under fully turbulent condition the eroded LE shapes show the least amount of influence on the aerodynamic performances and results in negligible difference to AEP.

Kisorthman Vimalakanthan et al.

Status: open (until 02 Sep 2022)

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Kisorthman Vimalakanthan et al.

Kisorthman Vimalakanthan et al.

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Short summary
Leading edge erosion is one of the most critical degradation mechanisms that occur with wind turbine blades. A detailed understanding of the LEE process and the impact on aerodynamic performance due to the damaged leading edge is required to optimize blade maintenance. Providing accurate modeling tools is therefore essential. This novel study assesses CFD approaches for modeling high-resolution scanned LE surfaces from an actual blade with LEE damages.