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Technical note

Modeling and validation of a cross ow turbine using free vortex model


and a modied dynamic stall model
Raul Urbina
a,
*
, Michael L. Peterson
a
, Richard W. Kimball
b
, Geoffrey S. deBree
a
, Matthew P. Cameron
a
a
University of Maine, Mechanical Engineering Department, 5711 Boardman Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
b
Maine Maritime Academy, Marine Systems Engineering, Castine, ME 04420, USA
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 15 November 2011
Accepted 6 August 2012
Available online xxx
Keywords:
Tidal energy
Cross ow turbine
Free vortex method
Dynamic stall
Model tidal turbine test
a b s t r a c t
This work details the implementation of a modied Beddoes Leishman model into a Free Vortex Method
(FVM) to predict the performance of Darrieus turbines. The model uses Shengs consideration of the
reduced pitch rate inuence on the dynamic loads over the foil and revised Kirchhoff ow equations to
calculate lift and drag at extended ranges of angles of attack. A simple consideration of the Reynolds
number cyclic variation on the blades characteristic of the Darrieus turbines is also implemented.
Comparison with published and experimental data at a range of chord to radius ratio shows good
agreement.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Although the marine hydrokinetic power industry is still in its
developmental stages, tidal energy is regarded a promising new
renewable energy resource for communities in coastal areas [1].
Current tidal-turbines designs can be classied as either cross ow
or axial ow turbines shown in Fig. 1 [2]. The Darrieus turbine,
a type of cross ow turbine, can be designed at high solidity ratios
to operate at lower tip speed ratios that have the potential to reduce
environmental impact on marine fauna. Numerous analysis and
design tools for Darrieus turbines have been developed, using
Navier-Stokes equation methods and potential-ow methods
(Fig. 2) [3]. In particular, potential-ow methods such as lifting line
VM and BEM are preferred methods used in conjunction with
optimizers [4,5,6] because of their low computational cost.
However, numerical methods need to consider phenomena that
appear due to the unsteady ow conditions, such as dynamic stall
[7,8,9]. The dynamic stall phenomenon has a signicant impact on
the loading on the blades and, consequently, on the power output
of the turbine [10]. The FVM model used in this work incorporates
a dynamic stall model based on the Beddoes Leishman model [11]
with unsteady representation suitable for low Mach numbers [12]
to nd the blade forces at a wide range of attack angles [10]. In
order to extend the angle of attack range for the formulations, these
were modied using the asymptotic values for the limit cases.
2. Theory
The most signicant challenge in performance prediction at
operating ow conditions is the effect of dynamic stall [3]. The
dynamic stall model uses semi-empirical formulas related to the
reduced pitch rate, and delayed angle of attack to represent the lift
and drag at a large range of angles of attack and Reynolds numbers
(Fig. 3). The resulting forces predictions are then used in the FVM
model to nd the velocity eld around the turbine.
The dynamic stall model uses Sheng et al. [12] extended B-L
model for lowMach numbers ows. The modied B-L formulations
are given by
C
N
C
Na
a a
0

_
1

f
00
_
2
_
2
(1)
and
C
f
C
hC
Na
a a
0

2
_

f
0
_
E
0
_
(2)
with nomenclature shown in the Appendix.
The separation point function, f, is approximated by a piecewise
exponential function:
* Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: raul.urbina@umit.maine.edu (R. Urbina), michael.peterson@
maine.edu (M.L. Peterson), richard.kimball@mma.edu (R.W. Kimball),
geoffrey.debree@umit.maine.edu (G.S. deBree), matthew.cameron@
umit.maine.edu (M.P. Cameron).
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.2012.08.011
Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669
f a 1 0:4e
_
a a
1
S
1
_
; a a
1
(3)
f a 0:02 0:58e
_
a
1
a
S
2
_
; a>a
1
(4)
where S
1
, S
2
and a
1
are obtained by tting experimental data.
By comparing the asymptotic values of this relationship with
Hoerners observations [13], new expressions are derived for the
normal and tangential coefcients:
C
N
2psina a
0

_
1

f
_
2
_
2
(5)
C
c
2p h sin
2
a a
0

_

f
_
E
0
_
1

f
_
_
2
_
(6)
The analytical solution for the normal coefcient using asymp-
totic values (function 5) is shown in Fig. 4.
The drag coefcient can be calculated from
C
D
C
N
sina C
C
cosa C
D0
(7)
where C
D0
can be calculated using the frictional drag of two at
plates in a turbulent ow [14]. The lift (Fig. 5) can be found using
geometrical transformations.
Cross ow turbines undergo a cyclic variation of the Reynolds
number due to the rotation of the blade in the ow[15]. As a simple
approximation to correct the onset of stall in the airfoil for different
Reynolds numbers, a polynomial t of experimental data was
produced to calculate the static stall angle.
Two major effects are considered in the dynamic stall model,
a modied angle at which the foil is expected to stall and the delay
on the angle of attack. The modied angle at which the foil stalls, or
breakpoint of separation, at low Mach numbers is related to the
reduced pitch rate [12]. The reduced pitch rate is calculated from,
r
_ ac
2V
(8)
The change of the breakpoint of separation is approximated
from experimental data in [16]. A piecewise exponential function
improves on the linear approximation in Sheng et al. [16]. The
change in the separation breakpoint is then:
Da
1
r a
1
_
e
S3r
1
_
; r < 0 (9)
Da
1
r a
1max
_
1 e
S4r
_
; r>0 (10)
A second consideration in the dynamic stall model is that the
separation point is normally delayed under dynamic conditions
[12]. The change in the effective angle of attack is:
Fig. 1. A schematic drawing which shows the conguration of cross ow and axial ow turbines.
Fig. 2. Schematic showing the classication of analytical methods used for cross ow turbines.
R. Urbina et al. / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669 663
Da

s Das
_
1 e

s
Ta
_
(11)
A new delayed separation point which replaces Equations (3)
and (4) is then:
f

a 1 0:4e
_
a

a
1
Da
1
S
1
_
; a

a
1
(12)
and
f

a 0:02 0:58e
_
a
1
Da
1
a

S
2
_
; a

>a
1
(13)
Fig. 6 shows an example of the normal coefcient calculated for
a NACA 0012 prole [17] as a function of angle of attack at a range of
different pitch rates.
The angle of attack a, relative velocity U
R
, induced velocities and
shed vortex strengths, G
S
, shown in Fig. 7 were obtained using the
method described by Strickland et al. [7].
FVM models can calculate the velocity eld using shed vortices
that represent the wakes produced by the blade. For this model,
a Lamb-Oseen vortex type is used to calculate induced velocity of
the shed vortices [18]
V
P
!

h
!
G
!
2ph
2
_
1 e

h
2
4yt
_
(14)
To calculate the induced velocities due to the vortices in the
vicinity of the blade element control points, the vortex re-
distribution to cell corners method is used.
The analytical power coefcient, torque and blade forces were
obtained using the method described by Strickland et al. [7]. To
accommodate the blockage effect of the tow tank found on the
experiments, a method of images was used in the analytical model
for the simulation of the free surface and tunnel oor [19].
Fig. 3. The owchart of the analytical model is shown for each time step in the program.
Fig. 4. The normal force prediction of the modied ow equation is shown as
a function of the angle of attack.
Fig. 5. The lift force prediction of the analytical lift curve is shown as a function of the
angle of attack.
R. Urbina et al. / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669 664
To analyze the movement of the blade, the upstream zone is
dened as when the blade goes across the ow at the front of the
turbine from a rotational position (q
B
) of 0

e180

. A downstream
zone is dened when the blade passes across the ow from
a rotational position of 180

e360

(Fig. 8).
3. Results and discussion
Results of two published experimental data and experimental
data taken at the tow tank at UMaine were used to evaluate the
model predictions at a broad chord to radius (c/R) ratio range. The
rst set of data was developed by Strickland and is reported for
a turbine with two NACA 0012 blades with a c/R of 0.15, and an
inow velocity of 0.091 m/s [7]. At this chord to radius ratio
(c/R 0.15), the contribution of owcurvature effects is reported to
be small [20]. A second set of data was acquired using a turbine
with three NACA 63
3
-018 blades with a c/R of 0.375, an aspect ratio
of 3.55, and an inow velocity of 1 m/s [21]. In addition to previous
published experiments, a third set of data was obtained for a Dar-
rieus turbine with higher chord to radius ratio and blades with
higher aspect ratio. The data was acquired using a turbine with two
NACA 63
3
-018 blades with a c/R of 0.461, an aspect ratio of 10, and
an inow velocity of 0.6 m/s. The diameter of the experimental
turbine is 0.325m, with the blades having an ideal chord length of
0.0762 m (Fig. 9). The trailing edge was trimmed to facilitate
manufacture giving a nal 0.0694 mchord length. The length of the
blades is 0.762 m [22].
The comparison of the analytical results against those of
Strickland et al (Fig. 10) showed good agreement with the non
dimensional normal forces. Reasonable predictions of the non
dimensional tangential forces (Fig. 11) were obtained at the
upstream zone, but downstream zone predictions were inferior. A
possible explanation could be that the tangential coefcient may
need a better approximation for lower inow velocities that are
normally encountered in the downstream. The tangential coef-
cient is the likely issue since predictions for the normal force were
reasonable. Alternatively, the model may overpredict the shed
vorticity at the upstream zone, lowering the angle of attack calcu-
lations and tangential force at the downstream zone. Additionally,
Figs. 10 and 11 showthat there was not a signicant contribution of
the blockage effect for the conguration for Strickland et al. [7].
The comparison of the predictions of the model against the
experimental results of Shiono et al. [21] for higher solidity (0.179)
showed agreement of where the maximum power coefcient can
be found with respect to the tip speed ratio, as well as the tip speed
ratios where there is an increase and decrease of power coefcient
(Fig. 12). The power coefcients were higher than the experimental
results in some regions due to the relatively low aspect ratio of the
blades. The low aspect ratio can increase the induced drag and
reduce the lift of the blades, thus decreasing the tangential force
generated [17].
To further validate the analytical model, the power coefcient (as
a function of l) and the nondimensional torque (as a function of q)
were compared to experiments. Fig. 13 shows a comparison of the
experimental and analytical data when the blockage effect is
Fig. 6. The modied B-L lift curves are calculated for reduced frequencies k 0.062,
0.125 and 0.2150.
Fig. 7. The velocity components of the relative velocity are combined in the model as
shown.
Fig. 8. The upstream and downstream zones with respect to the turbine are shown.
Fig. 9. The model cross ow turbine is mounted on the tow tank carriage for testing.
R. Urbina et al. / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669 665
Fig. 10. The nondimensional normal force from reference [5] is compared to the results of the FVM model.
Fig. 11. The nondimensional tangential force from reference [5] is compared to the results of the FVM model.
Fig. 12. The power coefcient from reference [6] is compared to the model results for a solidity of 0.179.
R. Urbina et al. / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669 666
considered as well as the results without considering blockage. The
dynamic stall model has a signicant effect on the tip speed ratio
range at which the turbine operates. It is also apparent that at lower
tip speed ratios, 1.25 to 1.75, the blockage effect does not have a large
contribution to the analytical results. The analytical results for tip
speed ratios above 1.75 for this chord to radius ratios deviate due to
the shortcomings in howthe blade is modeled in lifting line FVM. At
higher tip speed ratios, there is a larger effect of the blades on how
Fig. 14. The unsteady nondimensional torque data from UMaine tow tank tests is compared for the model with and without blockage and dynamic stall at tip speed ratio of 1.5.
Fig. 13. The power coefcient is compared for the model for 2 blades with a chord to radius of 0.46.
Fig. 15. The unsteady nondimensional torque data from UMaine tow tank tests is compared for the model with and without blockage and dynamic stall at tip speed ratio of 1.8.
R. Urbina et al. / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669 667
the wake develops. Considering the analytical results, it may be
inferred that the free surface may be acting as a free ow.
To assess the model, the nondimensional torque was compared
to new tow tank experiments (Figs. 14, 15 and 16). The model gives
a good estimate of the positive torque and power coefcient at
l 1.5, l 1.8 and l 2.0, where the turbine generates the most
power at operating conditions. The inclusion of the blockage effect
improves the model since delayed stall is found from calculations.
This validates the assumption that the dynamic stall model needs
to consider the reduced pitch rate, since it has an inuence on the
angle of attack at which the blade stalls. A portion of the remaining
discrepancy in the results possibly comes from a lower estimation
of the torque in the downstream zone, as compared to Strickland
[7]. Additionally, it can be seen that in the region of rotational
position from0 to 45

, the model underpredicts the negative torque


values due to the ow curvature effect since the turbine has a high
chord to radius ratio [20]. Migliore et al. developed a owcurvature
correction, which may yield better results for the tangential forces
[15]. However, this correction is expected to have little impact on
the power coefcient estimation because of the compensation on
the effect on the sum of the tangential forces on the blades over
a revolution [23].
4. Conclusion
The lifting line FVM model with dynamic stall correction
provides a reasonable power coefcient and blade forces estimates
for cross ow turbines. The results are reasonable for a larger range
of solidities and Reynolds number ratios than possible with tradi-
tional FVM models. Unlike look up tables, this method can be used
when experimental data is not available for post stall angles of
attack.
The blade forces calculations show good agreement with
experiments at a large range of chord to radius ratios. The experi-
ments show that dynamic stall is important for cases of relatively
high stall regimes. The tangential forces and torque estimates at the
downstream zone showed inferior agreement with experiments
[7]. An improved model should focus on calculations of the
tangential force, particularly in the post stall region and for low
Reynolds numbers. Additionally, inclusion of second order effects
such as the boundary layer effects and countertorque may help
provide better predictions.
The lifting line model provides limited information on the lift
and drag in curvilinear ows for different blade proles. Future
analytical models should consider the impact of ow curvature on
the torque calculations at very low Reynolds numbers [15]. Addi-
tional work may also be needed to dene onset criteria for dynamic
stall, and to include considerations of the unsteady contributions
on the lift and drag coefcient calculations.
While the model is well suited for use in optimization schemes,
it is also a useful tool for broad design parameters for the turbine. A
basis for detailed optimization of the turbine using tools is provided
to guide high computational cost approaches such as Navier-Stokes
and lifting surface FVM methods.
Acknowledgment
This project was funded by Ocean Renewable Power Company
and the Maine Tidal Power Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy
grant EE-000298.
Appendix
Nomenclature
C
N
Normal force coefcient
C
T
Tangential force coefcient
C
c
Chordwise force coefcient
C
D
Drag Coefcient
C
L
Lift Coefcient
C
Na
Normal coefcient slope at zero degrees
a Angle of attack AOA or incidence
a
0
Angle of attack or incidence at zero normal force or mean
AOA
f Separation location in terms of chord
f
0
,f
00
Delayed separation location of f
h Recovery factor
E
0
Cavity factor
a
1
Breakpoint of separation
S
1
Exponential constant for separation point before stall
S
2
Exponential constant for separation point after stall
C
D0
Drag Coefcient at zero normal force
r Reduced pitch rate (r _ ac/2V)
_ a Angle of attack change in time
c Chord length
V Free stream velocity (m/s)
D A step change in forcing or in time
S
3
Exponential constant for reduce pitch rate before stall
S
4
Exponential constant for reduce pitch rate after stall
Fig. 16. The unsteady nondimensional torque data from UMaine tow tank tests is compared for the model with and without blockage and dynamic stall at tip speed ratio of 2.0.
R. Urbina et al. / Renewable Energy 50 (2013) 662e669 668
a
1max
Maximum value for breakpoint of separation
T
a
Delay constant for angle of attack due to dynamic effect
q Turbine rotational position
q
B
Blade rotational position
s Nondimensional time (s 2Vt/c)
k Reduced frequency (k uc/2V)
V
P
Induced velocity due to vortex
h Distance from vortex core to evaluation point
G Vorticity
n Fluid viscosity
t time
T

e
Nondimensional single element torque
R Turbine radius
s Solidity (s Nc/2pR)
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