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Optimize rotating wind energy rotor blades using the adjoint approach

: Vorspel, Lena; Stoevesandt, Bernhard; Peinke, Joachim

Fulltext ()

Applied Sciences 8 (2018), No.7, Art. 1112, 15 pp.
ISSN: 2076-3417
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie BMWi
Smart Blades I
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWES ()

Wind energy rotor blades are highly complex structures, both combining a large aerodynamic efficiency and a robust structure for lifetimes up to 25 years and more. Current research deals with smart rotor blades, improved for turbulent wind fields, less maintenance and low wind sites. In this work, an optimization tool for rotor blades using bend-twist-coupling is developed and tested. The adjoint approach allows computation of gradients based on the flow field at comparably low cost. A suitable projection method from the large design space of one gradient per numerical grid cell to a suitable design space for rotor blades is derived. The adjoint solver in OpenFOAM is extended for external flow. As novelty, we included rotation via the multiple reference frame method, both for the flow and the adjoint field. This optimization tool is tested for the NREL Phase VI turbine, optimizing the thrust by twisting of various outer parts between 20–50% of the blade length.