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Advanced brake state model and aerodynamic post-stall model for horizontal axis

wind turbines
R. Lanzafame, M. Messina
*
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria, 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 20 December 2011
Accepted 30 June 2012
Available online xxx
Keywords:
BEM theory
Centrifugal pumping
Brake state model
NREL wind rotor
a b s t r a c t
In scientic literature, when the aerodynamic design of a horizontal axis wind turbine is discussed,
different brake state models are presented. The brake state models are implemented within a BEM code
which is a 1-D numerical code, based on Glauert propeller theory, and able to predict HAWT perfor-
mance. This code provides reliable results only if a proper brake state model and aerodynamic post-stall
model are implemented.
In this research, the authors have produced a numerical code based on BEM theory in conjunction with
an aerodynamic post-stall model, indispensable for taking into account radial ow along the wind
turbine blades (Himmelskamp Effect), and the brake state models by Buhl, combined with the calculation
of Jonkmans tangential induction factor.
In scientic literature, Shens brake state model is commonly implemented within 1-D numerical
codes, based on BEM theory. Subsequently, a comparison with Shens brake state models was carried out.
With the numerical code presented in this work, the power for an NREL wind rotor was predicted. With
the numerical simulation, it was possible to notice when these different brake state model furnish results
close to experimental data.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
The numerical codes based on BEMtheory are powerful tools for
the design and performance evaluation of HAWT. BEM theory is
based on Glauert propeller theory [1] modied for wind turbines.
Today, many researchers are developing numerical codes based on
BEM theory [2e11]. Industry also utilizes these numerical codes to
design HAWT. These numerical codes are 1-D codes and produce
reliable results provided certain criticalities are resolved. These
criticalities regard the correct representation of lift and drag coef-
cients at high values of angle of attack, the implementation of
a post-stall model (to take into account radial ow along the
blades) and the implementation of a brake state model (to correctly
determine axial and tangential induction factors) [12e17].
This paper compares two different (the most accredited) brake
state models to evaluate the performance of a HAWT. The two brake
state models are Shens [18,19] and Buhls [20,21] (here Buhls
model is combined with Jonkmans equation to determine the
tangential induction factor).
First, a numerical code based on BEM theory [13] was devel-
oped, and a post-stall model [13,17] was implemented within the
numerical code. Next, the two brake state models were compared,
predicting the power curves for the NREL wind rotor [22]. In
scientic literature [29], experimental measurements are reported
for this wind turbine rotor. Finally, a comparison between the
simulated and experimental power curves is performed.
2. BEM theory, post-stall model and brake state model
The numerical code, developed in [13] is a 1-D code for the
design of a horizontal axis wind turbine. It has very fast compu-
tational times and provides great accuracy compared with experi-
mental data. This code is based on Blade Element Momentum
(BEM) theory, and can be implemented to design a wind rotor, and/
or evaluate its performance.
BEM theory based numerical codes subdivide the wind turbine
rotor into annuli of dr thickness, the ow of each sector being
independent of adjacent circular sector ows [17,23]. Applying the
equations of momentum and angular momentum conservation, for
Abbreviations: BEM, Blade Element Momentum; HAWT, horizontal axis wind
turbine; NREL, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; BSM, brake state model; 1-
D, One-dimensional; 2-D, Two-dimensional.
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: mmessina@diim.unict.it (M. Messina).
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Renewable Energy
j ournal homepage: www. el sevi er. com/ l ocat e/ renene
0960-1481/$ e see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2012.06.062
Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 415e420
each innitesimal dr sector of the blade, the axial force and torque
can be dened (Eqs. (1) and (2)).
The axial force on the blade element of width dr is:
dN
r
2
V
2
0
1 a
2
sin
2
f
N
b
C
L
cos f C
D
sin f c dr (1)
The torque on the blade element of width dr is:
dC
r
2
V
0
1 a
sin f
,
u r 1 a
0

cos f
N
b
C
L
sin f C
D
cos f c rdr
(2)
Fig. 1 shows the axial and tangential forces (dN and dT) for an
annulus of width dr.
From Eq. (2) wind rotor power can be evaluated, as reported in
Eq. (3).
P
_
u dT (3)
while the power coefcient is given by Eq. (4)
c
p

P
1
2
rAV
3
0
(4)
2.1. Post-stall model
Knowing the lift and drag coefcients (C
L
and C
D
) is crucially
important for assessing the forces and torques according to Eqs. (1)
and (2).
A problem which might cause numerical instability is linked to
the mathematical description of the airfoil lift coefcient. The
airfoils experimental data is 2-D and taken from wind tunnel
measurements. Furthermore, due to rotation, the boundary layer is
subjected to Coriolis and centrifugal forces which alter the 2-D
airfoil characteristics. This is especially pronounced in stall. It is
thus often necessary to extrapolate existing airfoil data into deep
stall and include the effect of rotation [24e28].
Owing to radial ow along the turbine blades, mathematical
equations describing lift coefcient have to overestimate experi-
mental C
L
values within a precise range of the angle of attack.
Centrifugal pumping is a phenomenon which describes radial air
ow along blades [29,30]. This ow slows the ow detaching from
the airfoil, causing an increase in airfoil lift.
To take into account radial ow along a rotating blade in
scientic literature, many authors modify the C
L
distribution
[29,31,32].
The curve t can be applied to any airfoil in the same aero-
dynamic region (the fully stalled one), because in this region the
benets due to radial ow are greater [33].
To increase C
L
distribution in the fully stalled region, a new
approach was implemented. As shown in Fig. 2, a fth-order log-
arithmic polynomial C
L


i
fcost
i
*lna
i
g was adopted for the
attached ow region (2

a 18

), while for the dynamic stall


region (18

a 90

) the function C
L
2C
Lmax
*sin(a)*cos(a) was
adopted. This last function intersects the logarithmic polynomial
curve at about 1/2e1/3 of its descendent part. This method
furnishes the correct amount of increase in C
L
in the fully stalled
region, and permits the 1-D numerical code, to take into account
radial ow along the blades.
Analogously to lift coefcient, two different mathematical
functions have been implemented to describe the drag coefcient.
A fth-order logarithmic polynomial C
D


i
fcost
i
*lna
i
g
was adopted for the attached ow region (2

a 18

), while for
the dynamic stall region (18

a 90

) the function C
D
C
Dmax
*sin
2
(a) was adopted. The cos t
i
, in the C
D
logarithmic polynomial,
have been evaluated through the least squares method, starting
from the C
D
experimental data [21]. Also the C
Dmax
has been
obtained from C
D
experimental data.
Nomenclature
A rotor area [m
2
]
Re Reynolds number [e]
a angle of attack [

]
f incoming ow direction angle [

]
u angular velocity [s
1
]
a axial induction factor [-]
a
0
tangential induction factor [e]
r local blade radius [m]
V
0
wind velocity far upstream [m/s]
V
1
relative airfoil velocity [m/s]
dL lift [N]
dD drag [N]
dR resultant force from lift and drag [N]
dN normal rotor force [N]
dT tangential rotor force [N]
c airfoil chord [m]
r air density [kg/m
3
]
C
L
airfoil lift coefcient [e]
C
D
airfoil drag coefcient [e]
C
Lmax
C
L
at a 45

.
N
b
number of blades [e]
F tip loss factor [e]
C
N
normal force coefcient [e]
l
r
local tip speed ratio [e]
C torque [Nm]
P mechanical power [W]
Fig. 1. Forces acting on the airfoil.
R. Lanzafame, M. Messina / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 415e420 416
2.2. Brake state model
A brake state model is a set of mathematical equations imple-
mented within a 1-D numerical code, based on the Blade Element
Momentum theory, to design and evaluate the performance of
horizontal axis wind turbines.
The brake state model implements different mathematical
expressions to evaluate the tangential (a
0
) and axial (a) induction
factors. In the numerical code presented in this paper, Eqs. (5)e(7)
were implemented [13].
The numerical stability of the mathematical code depends on
tangential (a
0
) and axial (a) induction factors. Before selecting these
mathematical expressions, many simulations have been carried
out, implementing different mathematical expressions for the
tangential and axial induction factors. In all the simulations the
results were not good as those presented in this paper (see Fig. 3),
and in some cases, the numerical code does not converge to the
solution, but diverges to an innite loop of calculations.
In Eqs. (5) and (6) the two mathematical expressions imple-
mented in this code for the evaluation of the axial induction factor
are reported:
for a < 0.4:
a
1
4Fsin
2
f
cN
b
2pr
C
L
cosf C
D
sinf
1
(5)
while for a ! 0.4 [20]:
a
18F 20 3

C
N
50 36F 12F3F 4
_
36F 50
(6)
In Eq. (7) the mathematical expression implemented in this
code for the evaluation of the tangential induction factor is repor-
ted [21]:
a
0

1
2
_
1
4
l
2
r
a1 a

1
_
(7)
where F is the Prandtl tip loss factor, as reported in [29,31].
The proposed post-stall model, in conjunction with the brake
state model, has been validate through the comparison between
the simulated and experimental data on the mechanical power for
the NREL wind turbine (see Fig. 3). The results of the numerical
code proposed in this work (including the post-stall model
described in Subsection 2.1, and the brake state model described in
Subsection 2.2), are very close to experimental data.
3. Comparison between experimental and simulated data
The numerical code produced by the authors, is implemented to
predict the power curve of the NREL wind rotor [22]. The radius of
Fig. 2. Graphic visualization of the post-stall model.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
M
e
c
h
a
n
i
c
a
l

P
o
w
e
r

[
k
W
]
Wind Speed [m/s]
NREL wind rotor
Experimental data Simulated data
Fig. 3. Experimental mechanical power for the NREL wind turbine.
R. Lanzafame, M. Messina / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 415e420 417
the rotor is 5.03 m and rotates at 72 r/min. The blade section is the
S809 airfoil. The experiments were carried out in the worlds
biggest wind tunnel at NASA Ames.
The rotor blades are twisted and tapered. Power control is
passive and occurs by deep stalling a section of the wind turbine
blades. One method to maintain almost constant the wind turbine
power, while the wind speed varies, is that to design the blades so
that they work in the deep stall region, and power production is
limited by these aerodynamic conditions (see Fig. 3, for the wind
speed varying from 10 m/s to 20 m/s).
Experimental measurements of power as wind speed varies
were taken from scientic literature [29].
In Fig. 3 the comparison between the experimental and simu-
lated data is shown. It is possible to notice how the 1-D numerical
code proposed in this work (with the post-stall model, and the
brake state model described in Subsections 2.1 and 2.2) furnishes
reliable results.
4. Numerical simulation and comparison of brake state
models
The combined JonkmaneBuhl [20,21] brake state model is
implemented within the numerical code developed by the authors
(see Eqs. (5)e(7)), and is compared with Shens brake state model
[18,19].
Shens brake state model is represented by Eqs. (8)e(14).
For a 1/3
a
1

1 C
N
_
2F
(8)
while for a ! 1/3
a
2 Y
1

4Y
1
1 F Y
2
1
_
21 FY
1

(9)
a
0

1
1 aFY
2
1 a
1
(10)
with
Y
1

4Fsin
2
f
sF
1
C
N
(11)
Y
2

4Fsinfcosf
sF
1
C
T
(12)
F
1

2
p
cos
1
_
exp
_
g
N
b
R r
2rsinf
__
(13)
g exp 0:125N
b
l
r
21 0:1 (14)
Figs. (4) and (5) show the brake state models.
In [34], Glauert reported the experimental results showing that
the trust coefcient equation C
N
4a(1 a) is not valid if the axial
induction factor exceeds 0.4. Glauert [34] gave a correction for
determining the axial induction factor, when a > 0.4, valid only for
F 1. If the losses at the tip of the blade are taken into account
(F < 1), the correction proposed by Buhl [20] must be considered
and implemented. Fig. 4 shows Buhls brake state model in
conjunction with experimental data taken from [23].
This correction is needed to eliminate the numerical instability
which occurs when the Glauert correction is implemented in
conjunction with tip losses.
In 2005, Shen et al. [18] proposed a new tip loss correction
model to predict physical behavior close to the tip. The local thrust
coefcient is replaced by a linear relation when the axial induction
value is greater than a critical value (a ! 1/3). Fig. 5 shows Shens
brake state model in conjunction with experimental data taken
from [23].
Implementing the numerical code, the BEM computation is
carried out using 20 blade elements distributed uniformly along the
blade. Comparative axial induction factors are rst computed. In
Fig. 6, the axial induction factor is plotted as a function of radius.
The axial induction values are almost identical for the inner part
of the blade but diverge when approaching the tip. This value is
lower than the value obtained with the Glauert model (reported
also in [18]), but greater than the value obtained with Shens brake
state model. A greater a value implies less predicted power.
Fig. 7 shows the predicted power curves for the NREL wind rotor.
It shows the predicted power curve of the simplied Glauert model
[18], the predicted power curve of Shens model [18], and the
Fig. 4. Buhls brake state model.
Fig. 5. Shens brake state model.
R. Lanzafame, M. Messina / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 415e420 418
predicted power curve obtained with the code developed in this
work. All the predicted power curves are compared with experi-
mental data.
Notice how in Fig. 7, the power predicted in this work is very
close to the experimental data for wind speeds varying from 5 to
20 m/s. For wind speeds greater than 20 m/s, Shens BSM predicts
a better curve.
In future research, a new strategy to implement both the BSMs
presented here, will be taken into account. Each BSM will be
implemented for different wind speed ranges to maximize the
correlation between experimental and simulated data.
5. Conclusions
The authors produced a numerical code based on BEM theory in
conjunction with an aerodynamic post-stall model, indispensable
for taking into account radial ow along the wind turbine blades,
and the brake state models by Buhl combined with Jonkmans
tangential induction factor.
This brake state model was compared with that of Shen et al. to
predict the power curve for an NREL wind rotor for which experi-
mental mechanical power measurements are reported in scientic
literature.
The comparison highlighted two different behaviors for the two
brake state models which in this work better predict the power
curves at low and middle wind speeds, whereas Shens works
better at high wind velocities.
The advantages of the developed method are those of a 1-D
numerical code: very little computational weight, the possibility
to effect many simulations in a very little time, the possibility to
evaluate different geometrical congurations of the wind turbine in
order to obtain high power coefcient, maximize the Annual
Energy Production.
The disadvantage of this numerical code is its precision. These
disadvantages can be overcome with a nal 3-D CFD simulation.
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0.1
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0.6
0.7
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0.9
1
0.25 0.5 0.75 1
a

[
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