09 Feb 2023
 | 09 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Aerodynamic simulation of rough and eroded blades, AEP effect and mitigation using low drag vortex generators

David Bretos-Arguiñena and Beatriz Méndez-López

Abstract. Blade roughness depositions or blade erosion have an unquestionably effect over blade aerodynamics and wind turbine power production. This work is focused on the simulation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) of the NACA 633418 airfoil with high roughness values and with different erosion typologies (pits and extreme losses of material). The CFD code used is OpenFOAM v8 and different technologies are selected to create the meshes to capture properly geometries' defects (ICEMCFD and ANSYS Workbench).

This study goes a step further by using low drag Vortex Generators (VGs) to mitigate the roughness and erosion harmful effects. Low drag VGs are compared with conventional ones and afterwards 3D blade sections are computed with roughness and erosion incorporating low drag VGs to evaluate the blade performance recovery achieved by the use of VGs. Finally, the impact of the different configurations (rough, eroded, rough + VG and eroded + VG) over Annual Energy Production (AEP) is evaluated on a virtual 2.5 MW wind turbine. The most important finding of the work presented in this paper is that AEP losses due to the existence of blade surface roughness or erosion can be recovered from the use of VGs up to 1.5 %.

David Bretos-Arguiñena and Beatriz Méndez-López

Status: open (until 08 Apr 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-8', Kisorthman Vimalakanthan, 23 Mar 2023 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-8', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Mar 2023 reply

David Bretos-Arguiñena and Beatriz Méndez-López

David Bretos-Arguiñena and Beatriz Méndez-López


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Short summary
Wind energy is crucial for dealing with the climatic change challenge. Society needs more efficient wind turbines reducing the costs and the operation and maintenance works. In addition, uncertainties should be also reduced. One of the biggest uncertainties in the wind energy field, is the wind turbine performance with regard to the blade status. Blades are living components and their surface changes with the wind turbine life evolution: they become dirty and or they suffer from erosion.