Analysis of the Aerodynamic Loads on a Wind Turbine in Off-Design Conditions

  • G. SantoEmail author
  • M. Peeters
  • W. Van Paepegem
  • J. Degroote
Part of the Springer Tracts in Mechanical Engineering book series (STME)


In this work, the aerodynamic loads acting on a large horizontal axis wind turbine are analysed in off-design conditions by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The turbulent wind flow is solved using an unsteady RANS approach and choosing the \(k-\epsilon \) model. Appropriate boundary conditions are used in combination with modified wall functions in order to preserve the atmoshperic boundary layer (ABL) profiles throughout the entire domain. An overset technique is used to handle the rotation of the blades throughout the simulated time. Changing both the pitch angle of the blades and the tip-speed ratio (TSR) of the turbine, several operating points are investigated. The performance and the loads are highly affected by the ABL, whose effect is highlighted. The performance of the wind turbine in each simulated operating point is compared to the nominal operating point (NOP). The aerodynamic loads are monitored, analysed and mutually compared throughout the motion of the rotor, in order to identify the most critical conditions for the blade structures.


Wind energy Atmospheric Boundary layer Wind turbine Off-design 


  1. 1.
    Hau E (2006) Wind turbines: fundamentals, technologies, application, economics, 2nd edn. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sudhamsu AR, Pandey MC et al (2016) Numerical study of effect of pitch angle on performance characteristics of a HAWT. Eng Sci Technol Int J 632–641Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Li Y, Paik KJ, Xing T, Carrica PM (2012) Dynamic overset CFD simulations of wind turbine aerodynamics. Renew Energy 37(1):285–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Caduff M, Huijbregts MAJ, Althaus HJ, Koehler A, Hellweg S (2012) Wind power electricity: the bigger the turbine, the greener the electricity? Environ Sci Technol 46(9):4725–4733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zahle F, Sørensen NN, Johansen J (2009) Wind turbine rotor-tower interaction using an incompressible overset grid method. Wind Energy 12(6):594–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Richards PJ, Hoxey RP (1993) Appropriate boundary conditions for computational wind engineering models using the \(k-\epsilon \) turbulence model. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 46–47:145–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Launder BE, Spalding DB (1972) Lectures in mathematical models of turbulence. Academic Press, LondonzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Parente A, Gorlè C, van Beeck J, Benocci C (2011) A comprehensive modelling approach for the neutral atmospheric boundary layer: consistent inflow conditions, wall function and turbulence model. Bound Layer Meteorol 140:411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Blocken B, Stathopoulos T, Carmeliet J (2017) CFD simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer: wall function problems. Atmos Environ 41(2):238–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Parente A, Gorlè C, van Beeck J, Benocci C (2011) Improved \(k-\epsilon \) model and wall function formulation for the RANS simulation of ABL flows. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 99(4):267–278Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dai L, Zhou Q, Zhang Y, Yao S, Kang S, Wang X (2017) Analysis of wind turbine blades aeroelastic performance under yaw conditions. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 171:273–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Santo G, Peeters M, Van Paepegem W, Degroote J (2017) Transient aeroelastic simulations of wind turbines with composite blades. In: proceedings of the 7th GACM colloquium on computational mechanics for young scientists from academia and industryGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Santo
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Peeters
    • 2
  • W. Van Paepegem
    • 2
  • J. Degroote
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Flow, Heat and Combustion MechanicsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringGhent UniversityZwijnaardeBelgium

Personalised recommendations