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The flow past a flatback airfoil with flow control devices: Benchmarking numerical simulations against wind tunnel data

Papadakis, G. and Manolesos, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-5506-6061 (2020). The flow past a flatback airfoil with flow control devices: Benchmarking numerical simulations against wind tunnel data. Wind Energy Science, 5(3), pp. 911-927. doi: 10.5194/wes-5-911-2020


As wind turbines grow larger, the use of flatback airfoils has become standard practice for the root region of the blades. Flatback profiles provide higher lift and reduced sensitivity to soiling at significantly higher drag values. A number of flow control devices have been proposed to improve the performance of flatback profiles. In the present study, the flow past a flatback airfoil at a chord Reynolds number of 1:5_106 with and without trailing edge flow control devices is considered. Two different numerical approaches are applied, unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) simulations and detached eddy simulations (DES). The computational predictions are compared against wind tunnel measurements to assess the suitability of each method. The effect of each flow control device on the flow is examined based on the DES results on the finer mesh. Results agree well with the experimental findings and show that a newly proposed flap device outperforms traditional solutions for flatback airfoils. In terms of numerical modelling, the more expensive DES approach is more suitable if the wake frequencies are of interest, but the simplest 2D RANS simulations can provide acceptable load predictions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Engineering > Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics
Project Input:
Project IDFunder NameFunder ID
Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy HubEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Date available in CRO: 02 Nov 2021 13:32
Date deposited: 2 November 2021
Date of acceptance: 3 June 2020
Date of first online publication: 22 July 2020
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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