Force Partitioning Analysis of Vortex-Induced Vibrations of Wind Turbine Tower Sections
Abstract. Vortex-Induced Vibrations (VIV) of wind turbine towers during installation is an aero-structural problem of significant practical relevance. Vibrations may happen in the tower structure, especially when the rotor-nacelle assembly is not yet attached to the tower or if the rotor blades are not yet connected to the tower-nacelle assembly. The complexity of aeroelastic phenomena involved in VIV makes the modeling and analysis challenging. Therefore, the aim of the current research is to investigate the fundamental mechanisms causing the onset and sustenance of vortex-induced vibrations. To gain more understanding of the nature of vibrations, a methodology is established that distinguishes different components of the forces at play. This approach allows identifying how various force components impact the oscillation of a rigid body. The method is executed using the OpenFOAM open-source software. Numerical simulations are conducted on a two-dimensional smooth cylinder at both subcritical and supercritical Reynolds numbers to establish a correlation between wind turbine tower vibrations and the force mechanism. The analysis involves performing Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (URANS) simulations using the modified pimpleFoam solver with the k-ω SST turbulence model. Both fixed and free-vibrating cases are studied for smooth cylinders. For the high Reynolds number cases, a setup matching the tower top segment of the IEA 15MW reference wind turbine was chosen. Studying the flow around a cylinder at a subcritical Reynolds number reveals that the primary force involved is the vorticity force. The combined force due to viscosity, added mass, and vorticity contributes most to the overall force. For a freely vibrating cylinder with a single degree of freedom in the cross-flow direction, the analysis indicates that the force component associated with the cylinder's motion is crucial and significantly affects the total force. Moreover, analysing the energy transfer between the fluid and the structure, a positive energy contribution by the vorticity-induced force is observed on or before the dominant Strouhal velocity. This confirms observations at low Reynolds numbers in the literature that the vortex shedding predominantly contributes to the initiation of oscillations during VIV. The kinematic force contributes to the energy transfer of the system, but the mean energy transfer per cycle is negligible.
Dataset for Force Partitioning Analysis of Vortex-Induced Vibrations of Wind Turbine Tower Sections https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10529197
Model code and software
Force Partitioning Method - OpenFOAM https://gitlab.tudelft.nl/svimalkumar/fpfoam
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