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Assessing wind turbine energy losses due to blade leading edge erosion cavities with parametric CAD and 3D CFD

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Article number052015
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/09/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventTORQUE - live virtual conference, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 28/09/20202/10/2020


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Wind turbine leading edge erosion is a complex installation site-dependent process that spoils the aerodynamic performance of wind turbine rotors. This gradual damage process often starts with the formation of pits and gouges leading ultimately to skin delamination. This study demonstrates the application of open source parametric CAD functionalities for the generation of blade geometries with leading edge erosion damage consisting of pits and gouges. This capability is key to the development of high-fidelity computational aerodynamics frameworks for both advancing knowledge on eroded blade aerodynamics, and quantifying energy losses due to erosion. The considered test case is an offshore 5 MW turbine featuring leading edge pit and gouge damage in the outboard part of its blades. The power and loads of the nominal and damaged turbines are determined by means of a blade element momentum theory code using airfoil force data obtained with 3D Navier-Stokes computational fluid dynamics. An annual energy loss between about 1 and 2.5 percent of the nominal annual energy yield is encountered for the considered leading edge damages. The benefits of adaptive power control strategies for mitigating erosion-induced energy losses are also highlighted.