FonTier Front Tracking: Fluid structure interaction and wind energy

Wind generator simulation

Wind generator simulation movie (movie may take a few seconds to load).

Fluid structure interaction is a natural extension of the capabilities of FronTier. Supported by ARO, we started the implementation of these extensions by including the interaction between fluid and rigid body and the interaction between fluid and deformable fabric surface. Our objective if to apply these extensions on two interesting and important applications to the ARO as well as the DOE mission. These two applications are parachute inflation and windmill power generator simulations. Movie 1 (right) shows simulation of of wind power generator.

Our front tracking code can simulate interactive motions between the wind flow and the rotor of the wind power generator. Our incompressible fluid solver, using high order coupling method, can accurately track the motion of the rotor blades and calculate the torque the wind exerted on the rotor blades. Our grid-free tracking method preserved the geometry of the wind rotor blade.

Through the simulations, we are able to predict the rotor speed on varying wind speed, rotor geometry, and rotor load. In particular, we are able to simulate both transient state and steady state motion of the rotor. Using different geometry of the wind rotor blades, we can optimize the shape of the rotor blade and therefore maximize the power capacity.

We will be able to calculate the torque and force on the wind generator under different wind speed and rotor geometry and therefore to predict the material strength needed in different environment and minimize the demage to the rotor. We can simulate multi-rotor and complex flow and provide accurate near-field model. Such model can then be used as the accurate source for the simulation of far-field simulations.