Aerodynamic validation studies on the performance analysis of iced wind turbine blades


COMPUTERS & FLUIDS, vol.192, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 192
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2019.104271
  • Journal Name: COMPUTERS & FLUIDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Icing, Ice accretion, DDES, Power loss, Wind energy
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Ice accretion on wind turbine blades distorts blade profiles and causes degradation in the aerodynamic characteristic of the blades. In this study ice accretion on turbine blades are simulated under various icing conditions, and the resulting power losses are estimated. The Blade Element Momentum method is employed together with an ice accretion prediction methodology based on the Extended Messinger model in a parallel computing environment. The predicted iced profiles are first validated with the experimental and numerical data available in the literature. 2D flow solutions and aerodynamic loads over iced blade profiles are obtained with 3 different flow solvers of increasing fidelity; XFOIL, an open-source panel code coupled with a turbulent boundary layer model, SU2, an open-source RANS solver, and METUDES, an in-house DDES solver. The power production losses of a 30 kW wind turbine operating with iced blades are then investigated in detail. It is shown that the XFOIL-based tool developed for the performance analysis of iced wind turbines successfully predicts ice profiles on turbine blades under various icing conditions and the consequent power losses. About 20% power loss is predicted for a 30 kW wind turbine exposed to icing conditions for an hour. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.