Effect of blade contamination on power production of wind turbines

ÖZGEN S. , Sarlbel E. B. , Yaman A. R.

2022 Science of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2022, Delft, Netherlands, 1 - 03 June 2022, vol.2265 identifier


© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.Wind turbines suffer from considerable power losses because of contamination on their blades, that can be due to erosion, wear, smog, insect, sand and dust particle impact. Blade contamination, its effects on the flows over the wind turbine blades and consequent power production losses form the main focus of the present study. These effects are mainly due to increased roughness on the blades leading to earlier laminar-turbulent transition and consequently, thicker boundary-layers on the blades. Early laminar-turbulent transition leads to a larger part of the flow over a blade being turbulent, thus increasing skin friction drag. Thicker boundary-layer on a blade results in blade profile being effectively modified, rendering the flow over the blade depart from ideal. In the present study, the effects of blade contamination on power output of contaminated wind turbine blades is investigated numerically using an in-house computational tool. Blade Element Momentum Method (BEM) combined with the Panel Method is used to calculate the local velocity and angle of attack at the blade sections, together with the power produced by the blade. Trajectories of particles causing contamination are calculated using Lagrangian approach, also yielding the impingement pattern of the particles on the blade surface, i.e. particle collection efficiency distribution. The effects of roughness on the boundary-layer flow are investigated by using an Integral Boundary-Layer Method, which yields the characteristics of the boundary-layer, i.e. laminar-turbulent transition location, increased skin-friction and thickening of the boundary-layer. The blade shape is modified due contamination thickness, the local height of which is assumed to be proportional to the local collection efficiency. Also, the roughness height distribution used in the boundary-layer calculations is assumed to be equal to the contamination thickness distribution on the blades. Power production and consequent losses of wind turbines with contaminated wind turbine blades are studied with respect to variations in particle size, wind speed and roughness height.