06 Sep 2023
 | 06 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

UVLM-based mesh generator intended for onshore and offshore wind farms

Bruno Antonio Roccia, Luis Ramón Ceballos, Marcos Leonardo Verstraete, and Cristian Guillermo Gebhardt

Abstract. In the last decades, the unsteady vortex-lattice method (UVLM) has gained a lot of acceptance to study large onshore/offshore wind turbines (WTs). Furthermore, and due to the development of more powerful computers, parallelization strategies and algorithms like the fast multipole method, it is possible to use vortex-based methods to analyze and simulate wind farms (WFs). However, UVLM-based solvers require structured meshes, which are generally very tedious to build using classical mesh generators, such as those utilized in the context of finite element methods (FEMs). Wind farm meshing is further complicated by the large number of design parameters associated with the wind turbine (pre-cone angle, tilt angle, blade shape, etc.), farm layout, modeling of the terrain topography (for onshore WFs), and modeling of the sea level surface (for offshore WFs), which makes the use of FEM-oriented meshing tools almost inapplicable.

In the literature there is a total absence of meshing tools when it comes to building aerodynamic grids of WTs and WFs to be used along with UVLM-based solvers. Therefore, in this work, we present a detailed description of the geometric modeling and computational implementation of an interactive UVLM-oriented mesh generator, named UVLMeshGen, developed entirely in Matlab® and easily adaptable to GNU OCTAVE, for wind turbines and onshore/offshore wind farms. The meshing tool developed here consists of: i) a geometric processor in charge of designing and discretizing an entire wind farm; and ii) an independent module in charge of computing the kinematics for the entire WF. The output data provided by the UVLMeshGen consist of nodal coordinates and connectivity arrays, making it especially attractive and useful to be used by other flow potential solvers using: doublets, sources and sinks, or dipoles, among others. The work is completed by providing a series of aerodynamic results related to WTs and WFs to show the capabilities of the mesh generator, without going into detailed discussions of wind turbine aerodynamics, which are not the focus of this paper. The meshing tool developed here is freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License Roccia (2023).

Bruno Antonio Roccia et al.

Status: open (until 14 Oct 2023)

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Bruno Antonio Roccia et al.

Bruno Antonio Roccia et al.


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Short summary
To the best of our knowledge, there is to date no freely-available UVLM-oriented mesh generator intended for arbitrary wind farms. Under these initiatives, we present a detailed description of the geometric modeling and computational implementation of an interactive UVLM-oriented mesh generator for onshore and offshore wind farms. This meshing engine, fully coded in Matlab, has been proven to be efficient in building aerodynamic grids of arbitrary onshore/offshore wind turbines and wind farms.