High-fidelity Fluid-structure Interaction Study of the Turbine-based Renewable Energy Harvesting Mechanism


Author/Creator ORCID




Mechanical Engineering


Engineering, Mechanical

Citation of Original Publication


Access limited to the UMBC community. Item may possibly be obtained via Interlibrary Loan through a local library, pending author/copyright holder's permission.
This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by UMBC for non-commercial research and education. For permission to publish or reproduce, please see http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/specoll/repro.php or contact Special Collections at speccoll(at)umbc.edu



Understanding unsteady fluid dynamics is an indispensable step when designing and analyzing the turbine-based renewable energy harvesting mechanism. In this study, we have developed and adopted advanced simulation and analysis tools. Specifically, we have developed high-order CFD methods for moving grids to study FSI problems at low Reynolds numbers; we have adopted commercial software, coupled with user-specific codes, to study complex aero-hydrodynamics from vertical axis wind/water turbines (VAWTs) and offshore wind turbine system. When studying turbine-based renewable energy harvesting, it is challenging to model turbine rotors rotating at relatively high speed. Fast dynamic grid technology is a bottleneck of efficient simulation of rotor dynamics. We have developed a high-order flux reconstruction/correction procedure via reconstruction (FR/CPR) formulation for unsteady flow simulation with dynamic grid algorithms. Specifically, the high-order FR formulation for the Navier-Stokes equations in an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) format is developed for numerical simulation on moving domains. A hybrid moving grid algorithm consisting of algebraic grid smoothing and grid regeneration methods is developed to resolve domains with large deformation. It is challenging to guarantee satisfactory self-starting capability and high-power efficiency simultaneously in a VAWT design. To address this challenge, a new hybrid Darrieus-Modifed-Savonius (HDMS) VAWT is designed and numerically tested using a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) approach based on high-fidelity CFD. A systematic study is conducted to analyze the effects of the moment of inertia, turbine structure, and external load on the self-starting capability and power efficiency under both wind and water condition. In the study under water conditions, the relationship between the power coefficient and Reynolds number is unveiled. Moreover, different configurations of this HDMS VAWT are tested under water conditions. Additionally, we also investigate the performance of our HDMS VAWT in open channel flows to compare its performance with that in single-phase flows. In traditional offshore Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) foundation design, Morison equation is usually adopted to calculate the force of water acting on the foundation. However, this method can overestimate the force. To reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of the offshore wind, a comprehensive study of simulating mono-plie foundation under wave conditions of an offshore HAWT is needed. We have conducted a two-phase water-air simulation to quantify hydrodynamics of the water flow over the monopile foundation. This study is then used in a comprehensive aero-hydro-structural analysis of a 5 MW offshore wind turbine system. In addition, the high-order CFD solver is coupled with a stable and accuracy FSI scheme. Three different FSI problems triggered by vortex induced vibration (VIV) are investigated here, namely zero-mass cylinder oscillation, an oscillating-foil-based energy harvesting mechanism, and a non-linear energy sink (NES). It is found that the high-order partitioned FSI framework can effectively handle those challenging FSI problems.