Abaqus Technology Brief
TB-12-WT-1Revised: April 2012
SIMULIA would like to thank CD-adapco for collaboratingon the CFD portions of this Technology Brief.
Wind turbines are used around the world as a source of renewable energy. While the operating principle of a windturbine is simple, the detailed aerodynamic and mechani-cal behavior of the system is quite complex. Of particular interest to blade designers is the coupled interaction be-tween the rotor aerodynamics and the response of thestructure. Including this interaction effect in the designprocess will allow for a better prediction of the blade load-ing and deflection.In this Technology Brief, a fully coupled fluid-structureinteraction analysis of a wind turbine rotor is presented. Abaqus/Standard and STAR-CCM+ are directly coupledthrough the SIMULIA co-simulation engine. With this ap-proach, a high fidelity modeling strategy can be used todevelop an accurate understanding of the blade dynam-ics.
It is well known that the airflow around a wind turbineblade induces a number of complex aerodynamic phe-nomena. As a result, accurate estimates of the blade ser-vice loads are not easily predicted. A number of designmethods have evolved over the years, each using differ-ing levels of simplification and approximation.Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a powerful analyti-cal technique and is a regularly used tool in the design of wind turbines. By directly coupling a CFD analysis to astructural finite element analysis, the strengths of bothtools can be applied simultaneously, allowing designersto capture the real-time interaction of fluid and structuralbehavior.The analysis presented here is based on a robust, seam-less, easy-to-use fluid-structure interaction (FSI) solutionusing Abaqus and STAR-CCM+, where Abaqus/Standardis used for the structural simulation of the blade andSTAR-CCM+ is used for the fluid simulation. The SIMU-LIA Co-Simulation Engine (CSE) allows the two programsto be directly coupled without third-party interface soft-ware. We will demonstrate one-way and fully coupledsimulations.
Key Abaqus Features and Benefits
Abaqus - STAR CCM+ direct coupling throughthe SIMULIA Co-Simulation Engine (CSE)
One-way (unidirectional) and fully bi-directionalscalable coupling solutions with Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit
Composite material modeling capabilities for ac-curate structural representation of wind turbineblades
Fully Coupled Fluid-Structure Interaction Analysis of Wind TurbineRotor Blades
In the one-way sequentially coupled simulation, the bladewind loads are first computed in STAR-CCM+. This isfollowed by an Abaqus/Standard static structural analysis.The results are then used to define and run a stable, fullycoupled bi-directional analysis. The fully coupled analysisdetermines the nonlinear blade deformation behavior caused by stochastic variations of wind loads (arisingfrom turbulence) that are in turn affected by blade defor-mation.
Geometry and Model
In this study, the structural model of the blades (Figure 1)is created in Abaqus/CAE. A single blade is approxi-
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