By David Corson

– Senior CFD Software Analyst

Iso-surfaces of Q criterion are ones that out-line flow
regions with local rotation, indicating a turbulent eddy.
“Q” is a mathematical quantity commonly used to illustrate
turbulent vortices in
a flow field.

To bring costs down, wind-energy firms are recognizing the design benefits of numerical simulation. Transitioning to a simulation-based design process lets OEMs optimize performance and increase a turbine’s power output.

A valuable tool in this process is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. It has traditionally played a role in the design of rotorcraft, fixed-wing aircraft, and even wind-turbine blades. Previous limitations in computing power kept most simulations focused on small portions of a design with a limited inclusion of physical phenomena. Perhaps the most accepted use of CFD in the industry is for analysis of 2D airfoils. Although an important application, recent advances in computing power and software provide greater capabilities for wind-turbine designers.

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