Comparative Study of CFD Solver Models for Modeling of Flow Over Wind Turbine Airfoils.

Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2014, Düsseldorf, Germany, June 16–20, 2014
Authors: William T. Kirk, V. R. Capece, G. Pechlivanoglou, C. N. Nayeri, C. O. Paschereit


This paper presents an evaluation of XFOIL and a commercially available CFD solver to predict the two-dimensional lift and drag coefficients of wind turbine airfoil sections for attached and separated flows. The computational solutions are correlated with the experimental data for the DU 96-W-180 airfoil that has been generated from wind tunnel testing performed at TU Delft and TU Berlin. CFD solutions are presented for turbulent calculations using the Shear-Stress Transport (SST) [1] and Spalart-Allmaras [2] turbulence models and transition calculations using the SST γ-θ model. Transition points from the CFD simulations are compared to the results obtained using XFOIL [3].

The paper culminates in a quantitative analysis identifying the deviations of the XFOIL and CFD solutions from the experimental data. This analysis uses the experimental polars generated by TU Delft and TU Berlin as a baseline for the comparison with the end goal of determining the best computational source of design polars for use in industry.