Wind Blade Analysis for Wind Power Using Ansys Fluent

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Renewable energy sources are crucial to meet our fast-growing energy demands.
They are clean sources of energy and are slowly displacing conventional sources such as fossil fuels. Out of available renewable energy resources, wind energy is available in abundant quantity in most parts of the world. Wind turbines are used to convert the kinetic energy of the moving wind into electrical power. The main components of a wind turbine are the rotor blades, generator, gearbox, and controls system. The rotor blades are directly exposed to heavy winds and should be designed to withstand these loads. At the same time, to extract the maximum kinetic energy from the wind, the aerodynamic performance of these blades needs to be evaluated. They experience both lift and drag forces, and to produce maximum power, higher lift and lower drag coefficients are desirable. Engineering simulation tools, such as Ansys Fluent, are used to evaluate these forces to design the blades of a wind turbine. In this course, we will use a periodic section around a turbine blade and study forces on the same.

This SimCafe course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Sebastien Lachance-Barrett, 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 learn how to model the flow around a wind turbine blade by following the end-to-end workflow in Ansys Fluent.

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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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. 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.

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.