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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CFD : Wind Turbine Simulations

There has been quite some interest lately in modeling and simulating wind turbine flow using CFD operations. Thought, may be my simulation work in this concern may be of interest. I have attached my sample work on computing local wind turbine blade characteristics as well as the wake characteristics generated by these rotating blades.

Boundary condition and set up

Front View of the blades (Meshed)

I used the comfortable ;) sliding mesh techniques to run transient simulations of the rotating turbine blades. Turbulence activated using RNG k-e model. Ofcourse, I am carrying out some LES runs now to check out more interesting eddy characteristics. But, fundamental framework on this transient process remains the same.

All work reported here were of incompressible nature. Air was used as the fluid medium. Geometry of the turbine was generated using some earlier available models from literature. Ofcourse, more complicated profiles can be built based on specifications.

Contours plots of vorticity magnitude around the rotating blades - various increasing time instants (a-j)

Movie of vorticity shedding near the rotating blades - used FieldView for post-processing (could have been better ;)


Plots of Velocity vector to show local flow characteristics

Wake Flow Studies

I carried out several tests with increasing the incoming fluid flow velocity, changing the rotational speeds etc and interesting flow modification appeared throughout the domain.

This is just a preliminary post. I will keep adding some more information with respect to these simulations. More so, if you have any comments on the modeling and/or application, kindly let me know.


  1. Hi,

    Can I ask what CFD software do you use for this simulation work?

    Thanks a lot.


  2. Hi,

    Do you have any tutorial outlining how the turbine geometry was constructed?



  3. The construction of geometry is pretty straightforward - only major hurdle is to actually get the blade/geometry information.

  4. @salad: This was simulated using FLUENT 6.3 - Results such as wake, velocity deficits, flow turbulence were captured well and validated with experiments

  5. Hi,

    I´d like to use one of your pictures for the introduction of my thesis. How can I cite your work? "" won´t look too good in my literature ahah...



  6. This is great work, I'm just finishing the right up of my final year dissertation on a very similar thing. In fact, the contours of vorticity magnitude look VERY similar to the ones you've posted even though my simulation is on a marine current turbine. My results aren't perfectly matching the experimental data though :(

    It was great to see this! Thanks for posting it! I think I'll do the same when I'm done in June :)

  7. Hi,

    This is a wonderful work. I am trying to simulate the wind turbine in Fluent now and doing exactly the same thing as you. Since I could not let my case work at all, could you kindly give me some advice about the mesh and the settings in setup? Any help would be greatly welcome since I am stuck here for a long time. My email address is It would be great if you could email me instead of posting here. Thank you very much.

  8. Hi,

    I am looking for freelance for the CFD analysis by using Fluent. My project simulation of ducted wind turbine (HAWT).
    Its a short term project.


  9. may i ask, how do you calculate your power coefficient from this result?

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