25 Oct 2022
25 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

A comparison of dynamic inflow models for the Blade Element Momentum method

Simone Mancini, Koen Boorsma, Gerard Schepers, and Feike Savenije Simone Mancini et al.
  • TNO Wind Energy, Westerduinweg 3, 1755LE Petten, Netherlands

Abstract. With the increase in rotor sizes, the implementation of innovative pitch control strategies, and the first floating solutions entering the market, the importance of unsteady aerodynamic phenomena in the operation of modern offshore wind turbines has increased significantly. Including aerodynamic unsteadiness in Blade Element Momentum (BEM) methods used to simulate wind turbine design envelopes requires specific sub-models. One of them is the dynamic inflow model, which attempts to reproduce the effects of the unsteady wake evolution on the rotor plane induction. Although several models have been proposed, the lack of a consistent and comprehensive comparison makes their relative performance in the simulation of large rotors still uncertain. More importantly, different dynamic inflow model predictions have never been compared for a standard fatigue load case and thus it is not clear what is their impact on the design loads estimated with BEM. The present study contributes to filling these gaps by implementing all the main dynamic inflow models in a single solver and comparing their relative performance on a 220 m diameter offshore rotor design. Results are compared for simple prescribed blade pitch time histories in uniform inflow conditions first, verifying the predictions against a high-fidelity free vortex wake model and showing the benefit of new two-constant models. Then the effect of shed vorticity is investigated in detail revealing its major contribution to the observed differences between BEM and free vortex results. Finally, the simulation of a standard fatigue load case prescribing the same blade pitch and rotor speed time histories reveals that including a dynamic inflow model in BEM tends to increase the fatigue loads, while the relative differences among the models are limited.

Simone Mancini et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2022-92', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Oct 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Simone Mancini, 23 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2022-92', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Nov 2022

Simone Mancini et al.

Simone Mancini et al.


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Short summary
Modern wind turbines are subject to complex wind conditions that are far from the steady uniform inflow hypothesis at the core of blade element momentum methods (the current industry standard for wind turbine design). Various corrections have been proposed to model this complexity. The present work focuses on modelling the unsteady evolution of wind turbine wakes (dynamic inflow), comparing the different corrections available, and highlighting their effects on design load predictions.