Development and application of a grid generation tool for aerodynamic simulations of wind turbines
This manuscript presents an effort towards the introduction of a new grid generation tool for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of wind turbines. The tool was developed and designed to considerably reduce the duration and complexity of the grid generation process and, moreover, to enable users to perform an efficient CFD simulation for a complete wind turbine rotor. Furthermore, the tool is fully automatized, thus enabling the user to refine the grid along the desired direction. For the purpose of validation, the quality of the generated grid was checked via a grid independence test. Finally, the grid generator tool was evaluated by means of a series of simulations of the NREL phase VI rotor using a three-dimensional CFD Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes method. The capability of CFD simulations based on the generated grid in capturing aerodynamic performances (such as the power) and the detailed flow characteristics (e.g. the surface pressure distributions) were investigated under various conditions. The obtained results demonstrate the quality and reliability of the developed grid generation tool.