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Title: Numerical Simulations of Subscale Wind Turbine Rotor Inboard Airfoils at Low Reynolds Number

New blade designs are planned to support future research campaigns at the SWiFT facility in Lubbock, Texas. The sub-scale blades will reproduce specific aerodynamic characteristics of utility-scale rotors. Reynolds numbers for megawatt-, utility-scale rotors are generally above 2-8 million. The thickness of inboard airfoils for these large rotors are typically as high as 35-40%. The thickness and the proximity to three-dimensional flow of these airfoils present design and analysis challenges, even at the full scale. However, more than a decade of experience with the airfoils in numerical simulation, in the wind tunnel, and in the field has generated confidence in their performance. Reynolds number regimes for the sub-scale rotor are significantly lower for the inboard blade, ranging from 0.7 to 1 million. Performance of the thick airfoils in this regime is uncertain because of the lack of wind tunnel data and the inherent challenge associated with numerical simulations. This report documents efforts to determine the most capable analysis tools to support these simulations in an effort to improve understanding of the aerodynamic properties of thick airfoils in this Reynolds number regime. Numerical results from various codes of four airfoils are verified against previously published wind tunnel results where data atmore » those Reynolds numbers are available. Results are then computed for other Reynolds numbers of interest.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Thermal/ Fluid Sciences & Engineering Dept.
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Wind Energy Technologies Dept.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States