QUANTIFYING EFFECTS OF HYDROMETEOR DROPLET CHARACTERISTICS ON WIND TURBINE BLADE LEADING EDGE EROSION
Blading leading edge erosion, a significant source of reduction in energy production and increased maintenance costs can occur on any wind turbine in any wind farm. However, the current understanding of how hydrometeor droplet impacts the erosion process is far from conclusive. In this work, a CFD framework based on ANSYS Fluent has been built to analyze the influence of rain droplet characteristics on the blade leading edge erosion. I present aerodynamical simulations of a modeled three-blade wind turbine and use those as the basis for the rain droplet injection analysis. This work shows that the particle trajectories are closely related to the inflow wind conditions and blade rotation. The inlet wind velocity is observed as an important factor in determining how many particles impact the blade (indicated as trapping to the blade wall). Moreover, limited evaluation of rain droplet sizes indicates that their trajectories vary by diameter.
wind energy; blade leading edge erosion; Mechanical engineering; CFD; rain droplet; Atmospheric sciences
Barthelmie, Rebecca Jane
Pryor, Sara C.; Bewley, Gregory Paul
M.S., Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis