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Aerodynamic analysis of wind turbines and windfarms

Wind turbines are continuously growing in size, and with the increasing focus on offshore installations, accurately analysis of wind loads and intermittency is of great importance.Windfarms typically consists of a large number of such turbines, and the wind interaction between the turbines must be known to be able to optimize the windfarm with respect to electricity production and to low maintenance cost. Such optimization strongly relies on the control systems used to operate the windfarm.

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SINTEF Industry is working on aerodynamic simulations using both complex Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and simplified engineering models. CFD is time consuming, but allow for accurate analysis, while the engineering models may run in real-time allowing their use in windfarm and wind turbine control systems. SINTEF Industry is involved in projects addressing several of the above issues:

  • Development of engineering models including wake-wake interactions.
  • Real-time/quasi-real time suitable for use in windfarm control systems, capturing ocean wave and/or terrain effects on wind, wakes, and turbulence, in addition to interaction between turbines.
  • Complex models including Mesoscale wind modeling, turbine micro-siting, wake-wake interaction, wind-wave interaction, and wind farm optimization.
  • Model development within the OpenFOAM CFD architecture with preprocessing based on Google Earth.

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