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BEM-Codes Validation Tables

BEM-Codes Validation Tables

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Published by John Kerry
BEM code validation
BEM code validation

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Published by: John Kerry on Oct 22, 2012
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Ricardo Santos Pereira nr 1371282 November 2009
Validation of BEM-codes
In the following pages a comparative study will be performed between two Blade-Element-Momentum codes and the pressure measurements from the MEXICO obtained at yawed flowconditions, with the objective of validating these calculation methods so that posteriorly dynamic stallmodels are included in the computation.
One of the main goals of this master thesis is to compare the performance of different DynamicStall models in the prediction of the loads wind turbines under yawed flow conditions will experience,and as discussed before, usually these semi-empirical dynamic stall models require the
angle of attackhistory
as an input, i.e., Cl=f( ), with =f(t).
α α
However it is firstly necessary to understand exactly what 'angle of attack' signifies; the 'angle of attack' is defined as the angle an airfoil's chord is at with the stream velocity, however, in the windturbine environment the local velocity greatly varies when different rotor positions are considered,since the blades indeed “slow down” the incoming wind, and especially in yawed conditions thismakes the 'angle of attack' concept rather unclear.Still, it is possible to compute the angle of attack at different spanwise stations and azimuthalpositions of a wind turbine using both BEM and lifting-line codes. In his work, Micallef [ref todocument with IFW] used an inverse free wake code to compute the local angles of attack throughoutthe rotor of the MEXICO. Inverse free wake codes use loads as input, and considering the influence of bound, shed and trailed vortices they compute, locally, what should be the bound circulation such thatthe Kutta-condition is met with. From this circulation, the angle of attack is then calculated, and basedon its method of computation, let us call this value the '
angle of attack.However, in Dynamic Stall modeling, the angle of attack, which as mentioned above is usuallythe input for the unsteady load computation, is taken simply as the angle the airfoil's chord is instantlyat with the stream velocity. Based upon how it is defined, let us call this value the '
angle of attack. The direction of the stream velocity is well defined in wind tunnel testing where most of the dataused to derive the semi-empirical Dynamic stall models was taken from, leaving no room for ambiguity.Naturally, if there is some shed vorticity in wind tunnel tests, the local velocity at the airfoil will beinfluenced by it, and the bound circulation necessary to meet with the Kutta condition will beassociated with an instantaneous 'circulatory' angle of attack which is different from the usually taken
'geometric' angle of attack.Thus it is understood that using the angle of attack history, =f(t), computed with an inverse
 free wake method, as an input to Dynamic Stall models is not expected to yield good predictions of theaerodynamic loads, since we are indeed in presence of two different ways to tackle and simulate theproblem at hands.On the other hand, it is also possible to use a BEM code to compute =f(t) and use the angle of 
 attack history as an input to Dynamic Stall models and thus obtain the unsteady loads, to compare withthe MEXICO measurements. However, in a BEM code, at each time instant the momentum loss of theincoming air stream is equated with the forces on the blades, iterating on the induction factors; since ina standard BEM code these forces are calculated by static Cl vs functions, it is easy to understand that
 if the reduced frequency is high enough, this will lead to an inaccurate computation of theinstantaneous induction factors and thus to an erroneous alpha history.From the stated above, one is lead to conclude that the dynamic stall models must beimplemented
the BEM code, that is to say the instantaneous loads must be calculatedconsidering the angle of attack history, =f(t), so that the momentum balance yields a more accurate
 estimation of the induction factors in the following time instant.It is important to state that the BEM models will be validated against MEXICO measurementsobtained at
wind speeds
; this is justified by the fact that at
low wind speeds
it is likely thatthe turbine is working in the turbulent wake state, which means that the trailed vortices will have amajor influence in the flow field and consequentially in the observed loading. Bearing in mind that thegoal is to use the BEM codes to simulate Dynamic Stall, which will naturally occur at high windspeeds, it is understandable that the validation at low wind speeds is not very relevant.When
high wind speeds
are considered, it is expectable that the airfoil stalls, at least in someportion of the blades, and as discussed before this stall will have a dynamic nature. Since the BEMcodes under consideration use static Cl vs functions, it is not expectable that good agreement is
 found between calculations and measurements at these high wind speeds, and so it makes little sense tocompare such results.Finally, one should also keep in mind that at
high wind speeds
, i.e. at low tip speed ratios, theinduction factors will have a smaller magnitude[include reference that explains this], which means thatthe advance retreating blade effect will be dominant. As mentioned before, BEM codes iterate on theinduction factors, but since these factors will have a smaller magnitude their contribution to the angle of attack 'seen' by the blade will also be small compared to the geometric effect, and consequentially theaccurate computation of these induction factors becomes less important in the prediction of theunsteady loads the wind turbine blades will experience.
Considered Models:
Two distinct Blade Element Momentum models will be considered, which from now on will bereferred to as
BEM and
Classical BEM
This designation refers to the algorithm for BEM code in yawed flow suggested in [reference tothe 'Wind Energy Handbook'], and was mainly adapted from the previous work by Micallef [ referenceto Daniel's BEM code].This model assumes the induced velocity to be given by:
, where
depends on the wake shape, F is a flow expansion function where
is the fraction radiusand
is the azimuth angle. This codes iterates the induction factors at each radial position by averagingover the azimuth, using vortex cylinder theory for the thrust forces, and computes both azimuthallyaveraged axial and tangential induction factors.In this model the
flow expansion
is also included, as well as both
root loss
factors, andalso the
wake rotation
, computed assuming a single vortex being trailed from the center of rotation.Once the azimuthally averaged inductions are computed this model calculates the load variations, andthe azimuthal variations can be found by using the thrust and torque gradients. A more detaileddescription is given in [reference to Daniel's BEM code].The normal and tangential force coefficients illustrated below are derived from the computed liftand drag coefficients, using also the calculated angles of attack, according to

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