Abstract

This paper presents a comparison of low- and mid-fidelity aerodynamic modelling of floating offshore wind turbine rotors. The low-fidelity approach employs the conventional Blade Element Momentum theory implemented in AeroDyn of OpenFAST. This model ignores the aerodynamic interactions between different blade elements, and the forces on the blade are determined from the balance between momentum theory and blade element theory. With this method, it is possible to calculate the aerodynamic performance for different settings with low computational cost. For the mid-fidelity approach, the Actuator Line Modeling method implemented in turbinesFoam (an OpenFOAM library) is used. This method is built upon a combination of the blade element theory for modeling the blades, and a Navier-Stokes description of the wake flow field. Thus, it can capture the wake dynamics without resolving the detailed flows near the blades. The aerodynamic performance of the DTU 10 MW reference wind turbine rotor is studied using the two methods. The effects of wind speed, tip speed ratio, and blade pitch angles are assessed. Good agreement is observed between the two methods at low tip speed ratios, while the Actuator Line Modeling method predicts slightly higher power coefficients at high tip speed ratios. In addition, the ability of the Actuator Line Modeling Method to capture the wake dynamics of the rotor in an unsteady inflow is demonstrated. In the future, the multi-fidelity aerodynamic modules developed in this paper will be integrated with the hydro-kinematics and hydro-dynamics of a floating platform and a mooring system, to achieve a fully coupled framework for the analysis and design optimization of floating offshore wind turbines.

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