Fast Multilevel Panel Method for Wind Turbine Rotor Flow Simulations

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    A fast multilevel integral transform method has been developed that enables the rapid analysis of unsteady inviscid flows around wind turbines rotors. A low order panel method is used and the new multi-level multi-integration cluster (MLMIC) method reduces the computational complexity for calculating the wake deformation downstream of the wind turbine rotor from O(N^2) for a conventional approach to O(N). The method discretizes the volume surrounding the configuration with cubes. Each cube contains a grid of nodes that are used in the interpolation of the Green’s functions underlying the panel method.

    The formulation of the panel method is described concisely and verified using exact solutions for a tri-axial ellipsoid in uniform flow and for a rotating ellipsoid in air at rest. For these tests the panel method exhibits an error varying quadratically with panel size.

    The MLMIC fast multilevel method is described and its accuracy and O(N) computational speed are verified for some model problems. Surface pressure distributions obtained with the fast panel method are compared with results from the MEXICO wind tunnel experiment and with results from a state-of-the-art numerical simulation method based on the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RaNS) equations.

    This work repositions panel methods in the computational landscape as valuable intermediate fidelity computational design method for wind turbine engineering.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication35th Wind Energy Symposium 2017
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a meeting held 9-13 January 2017, Grapevine, Texas, USA. Held at the AIAA SciTech Forum 2017
    PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-456-5
    ISBN (Print)978-1-51084-388-2
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2017
    Event35th Wind Energy Symposium 2017 - Grapevine, United States
    Duration: 9 Jan 201713 Jan 2017
    Conference number: 35


    Conference35th Wind Energy Symposium 2017
    CountryUnited States

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