Testing of self-similarity and helical symmetry in vortex generator flow simulations
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Vortex generators (VGs) are used increasingly by the wind turbine industry as flow control devices to improve rotor blade performance. According to experimental observations, the vortices generated by VGs have previously been observed to be self-similar for both the axial (uz) and azimuthal (u¿) velocity components. Furthermore, the measured vortices have been observed to obey the criteria for helical symmetry. These are powerful results, as it reduces the highly complex 3-D flow to merely four parameters and therefore significantly facilitates the modeling of this type of flow, which in a larger perspective can assist in parametric studies to increase the total power output of wind turbines. In this study, corresponding computer simulations using Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations have been carried out and compared with the experimental observations. The main objective is to investigate how well the simulations can reproduce these aspects of the physics of the flow, i.e., investigate if the same analytical model can be applied and therefore significantly facilitate the modeling of this type of flow, which in a larger perspective can assist in parametric studies to increase the total power output of wind turbines. This is especially interesting since these types of flows are notoriously difficult for the turbulence models to predict correctly. Using this model, parametric studies can be significantly reduced, and moreover, reliable simulations can substantially reduce the costs of the parametric studies themselves.
CitationFernandez, U., Velte, C., Rethore , P., Sorensen, N., Egusquiza, E. Testing of self-similarity and helical symmetry in vortex generator flow simulations. "Wind energy", Juny 2016, vol. 19, núm. 6, p. 1043-1052.