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Understanding of the Physics of Wind Turbine and Rotor Dynamics through an Integrated Simulation Framework

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - UPWARDS (Understanding of the Physics of Wind Turbine and Rotor Dynamics through an Integrated Simulation Framework)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-09-30

Wind energy is the largest of the new renewable energies and traditional wind turbine design has reached maturity, but still, improvements can be done through better understanding of the physics for the entire wind turbine system. At the same time demand for more green energy, requires new turbine designs with improved environmental characteristics, adaptable to new locations, etc.
In the UPWARDS project the goal is by the help of high-performance computing (HPC) to develop a simulation framework, which will incorporate a more complete description of the wind field, turbine, the support structure, etc. and their interaction in order to better understand the physics of the entire system. The complex wind field will be calculated adding interactions from nearby turbines, waves, terrain, etc.
The simulation framework will yield a more accurate prediction of the forces acting in the system and thus the energy captured by the turbine. In addition, it will better predict acoustic phenomena, and materials issues related to the turbine blades, etc. The platform will be modular and new design will be relatively simple to introduce.
An important part of the project is to evaluate the socio-economic impact and to bring user communities into the project development.
Altogether this will improve the design development process and allow for faster implementation of new and more advanced designs with less environmental impact. It will also improve the accuracy in power production.
The methodologies and major results from the project will be published in open access journals or freely accessible reports. In addition, an open database containing relevant results and raw data will be established. This will enable other researchers and turbine developers to utilize the results for further studies.
The overall objective is to utilize high-performance computing to improve the understanding of wind turbine related physical phenomena, which is a necessity in order to optimize the design of future large-scale rotor blades according to technical, economic and societal demands.
For creating a high-fidelity multi-physics, mechatronic and multi-scale simulation framework for wind turbines different models and simulations software have been developed. Furthermore, each simulation requires inputs and these inputs are output from the previous simulation software. An interface between For creating a high-fidelity multi-physics, mechatronic and multi-scale simulation framework for wind turbines, different models and simulations software have been developed. Furthermore, each simulation requires inputs and these inputs are output from the previous simulation software. An interface between different software has been identified and is done by performing a survey to all the users of the different model outputs in the consortium about their data requirements. A format and data structure of various inputs and outputs have been defined.
When comes to modelling preliminary models for atmospheric, park, fluid-structure interaction, noise and 3D fatigue delamination have been developed. WRF-LES meso-scale atmospheric model has been properly setup and benchmarking of these models have been performed. Park model based on the actuator surface (ASM) concept for designing wind parks have been implemented in OpenFoam architecture. CFD software StarCCM+ have been utilized for understanding flow around the turbine. For understanding the fluid-structure interaction two methods Samcef Mecano-vortex and Samcef mecano-CFD have been proposed. An interface for co-simulation between Samcef Mecano and StarCCM+ have been implemented. The Mecano and Starccm+ softwares have been tested based on models created from the NREL/TP-500-38060 report (description of a 5MW turbine).
In order to model the sound field in the near field region, two numerical approaches have been studied. The first one, developed by IVKDF, is based on Amiet’s theory. The second one, developed by SISW, is based on the combination of a stochastic method to compute sound sources with a finite element method to propagate sound waves. A novel 3D fatigue delamination method based on cohesive zone modelling has been developed. The method progress beyond state-of-the-art by incorporating novel features such as a growth driving direction criterion, 3D J-integral evaluation in cohesive interfaces, as well as a cycle jump fatigue method based on cohesive elements. The method has been validated on several numerical examples. A journal publication describing the methodology has been published in Composites Part A. A 4-point bending test configuration have chosen for measuring intra-laminar stress and strains in a single sample. A preliminary pilot study at AAU has been performed using force loaded DCB specimens in which load history effects on damage development concerning delamination has been studied.
All models and software tools described earlier have been installed and tested on the Fraunhofer ITWM computing infrastructure. The platform used for integration is based on a Linux based operating system. Each software is encapsulated within an individual and exchangeable software container. In addition, two model order reduction approaches have been tested.
A literature review on the social and environmental factors affecting wind energy development was carried out. From this review, three areas of public concern with respect to wind energy emerged: concerns about wind energy technologies, concerns about landscapes in which wind energy is to be implemented and concerns about the process of wind energy development, especially the degree of public participation. A methodology to collect stakeholder data, based on insights from the literature data have been proposed. Following reports have been published
1) D2.1 Summary of simulation requirements
2) D3.1: Definition and review of main theoretical / implementation aspects
3) D6.1: Virtual wind turbine prototype description: 15 MW
4) D7.1: a Literature review on social and environmental issues and acceptance of wind turbines
5) Article: A journal publication describing a novel 3D fatigue delamination has been published in Composites Part A
UPWARDS major contribution which is beyond the state of the art is a design of a 15 MW virtual wind turbine. The turbine specifications of the UPWARDS 15-MW virtual wind turbine and the design criteria of the turbine have been specified. This turbine will provide a relevant study case to simulate and explore the physical behaviour of future wind turbines. This turbine shall include a description of aerodynamic design, structural design, drive train, tower properties, and control system. CFD simulations of the virtual turbine are under progress and these results will be published in a conference. CFD simulations of the 15 MW wind turbine is under progress and the results of these simulations will be published in a conference.

The other major contribution beyond the state is development of a novel 3D fatigue delamination method based on cohesive zone modelling. The work has been published in a Journal.

A study carried out on social acceptance of wind energy in Europe shows that opposition to wind energy developments is often framed as the main challenge and a major issue for governance. The study also shows acceptance or the lack thereof are just two possible manifestations of attitudes towards wind energy.