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ECN publication
ECN Aero-Module for Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 23-2-2018
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--18-017 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
48 Download PDF  

ECN Aero-Module is a software package containing state-of-the-art aerodynamic models originally developed for horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). Two aerodynamic methods are currently available for the Aero-Module’s users. A method based on the classical blade element momentum (BEM) theory, and a method based on the free vortex wake model coupled to the lifting line model, named Aerodynamic Wind turbine Simulation Module (AWSM). Being based on more physically realistic models, AWSM is more flexible and accurate than BEM, allowing one to achieve improved aerodynamic simulations of wind turbine rotors. Clearly the more accurate simulations achieved by AWSM come at the cost of longer simulations. The work reported here has aimed at extending the original capability of Aero-Module by simulating vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs). A novel coordinate system for VAWTs has been developed and implemented. The implementation has been verified against the simulations performed by means of two other simulation codes for VAWTs. In this project, only the AWSM model has been made available for VAWT simulations, nonetheless the current Aero-Module’s architecture will allow ECN researchers to easily couple a BEM code for VAWTs as well. The results of the verification test reported below have shown a good agreement between the simulations performed by means of the newly developed Aero-Module for VAWTs and those obtained by the reference simulation codes. It is also shown that the large inherent CPU time associated with AWSM calculations can be considerably reduced, with minor accuracy penalties, by appropriately setting up the code inputs. This makes Aero-Module a valuable analysis and design tool for both HAWT and VAWT, through which advanced aerodynamic simulations of unconventional blade shape are possible, allowing engineers to explore larger design space at affordable computational expense.

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