Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Using Ansys Fluent — Part 1

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Nonrenewable energy resources are depleting, and renewable alternatives are gaining attention. One of the main renewable energy alternatives is wind energy. Wind turbines are used to capture the kinetic energy of the wind and convert it into electrical energy. Depending on the orientation of the rotor shaft, wind turbines are typically categorized as (1) vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), and (2) horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT). To increase the efficiency of these turbines, a design engineer must consider the aerodynamic forces on blades and the flow behavior around these blades. Engineering simulations are commonly used to estimate these aerodynamic forces.

This SimCafe Course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Julio Sampaio Gabriel de Pieri, in partnership with Ansys. It serves as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and provides a resource for supplementary learning outside the classroom. In this course, we will use the Multiple Reference Frame (MRF) approach to model the Vertical axis wind turbine using Ansys Fluent and study the flow behavior around its blades.

For more ways to learn, check out the Cornell edX course, A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations at ansys.com/cornell.

Cornell University also offers a Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Ansys online certificate authored by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran. Learn more here: https://ecornell.cornell.edu/fluiddynamics

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Vertical Axis Wind Turbine — Part 2

To increase the efficiency of wind turbines, a design engineer must consider the flow behavior around these blades and estimate the aerodynamic forces developed by the flowing wind. Engineering simulations are commonly used to estimate these aerodynamic forces. At low wind speeds, the flow around turbine blades is typically steady. But as the wind speed increases, the flow behavior around blades becomes transient. This creates vortices in the flow. In this SimCafe Course, we will use the transient sliding mesh approach to model the vertical axis wind turbine using Ansys Fluent and study the unsteady flow behavior around its blades.

It is critical to understand and study the distribution of the aerodynamic forces for the stability of the tall structures such as chimneys. These forces can be estimated with the help of engineering simulations. In this SimCafe Course, we consider a canonical problem of steady flow past a cylinder to understand the aerodynamic effects of wind on chimneys using Ansys Workbench.

When the airflow passes over the chimney at a low Reynolds number, the flow is symmetric. As the Reynolds number of the flow increases, the flow field becomes asymmetric, leading to the creation of periodic vortex structures in the flow. These are called Von Karman Vortices, and they detach periodically from the body creating a repeating pattern of swirling vortices behind it. When the frequency of these vortices matches the resonance frequency of these tall structures, it can induce violent oscillations in the structure that might damage or, worse, destroy the chimney. In this Sim Café example, we will consider the canonical problem of unsteady flow past a cylinder to understand the aerodynamic effects of wind on chimneys.