CFD modelling is widely used in several aspects of power generation, especially in renewable energy production. For example, CFD simulations are used to improve and optimise the design of wind turbines. Another application is the assessment of wind farm sites where the energy production of wind turbines can be predicted as a function of the turbine locations within the surrounding terrain.

Wind farm site assessment

SimWorks allows to quickly evaluate different sites and multiple wind turbine configurations for wind farms. It is possible to carry out a full sweep of wind speeds and wind directions to effectively predict the return on investment of a specific wind farm location. SimWorks helps to fine tune the position of each individual wind turbine within the site to maximise efficiency.

wind turbine site assessment with areas with high velocity

Wind speed close to the ground level of a potential wind farm site with the red regions showing higher wind speeds

wind turbine site assessment showing velocity next to the ground

The highlighted area is where the local wind speed is high. In the dark blue area the wind speed is more than 60% higher than the average wind speed indicating the ideal location for the wind turbines

Wind turbine design

SimWorks is also an ideal tool to develop industrial wind turbines and reduced sizes ones integrated in the urban environment. This is possible by using specific CFD modelling techniques, like the Arbitrary Mesh Interface (AMI). A steady-state CFD simulation uses a fixed mesh for all the iterations, while in this application, a transient CFD simulation is recommended, where the region of the mesh containing the blades is rotated over time. The aerodynamic solution is mapped at the interface between the rotating and the static region at each time step. This technique allows to evaluate the wind turbine interaction with the turbine stay or the surrounding elements at every degree of rotation and it is required to assess the overall effect of a specific blade profile or different wind turbine column geometries.

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