The Research Institute for Applied Mechanics (RIAM), Kyushu University, a Japanese academic research institution, has implemented Dassault Systèmes’ PLM software for an R&D project called, “Development of Shrouded Wind Turbine with Wind-Lens Technology”, to significantly improve research efficiency and accuracy.
Global wind-power capacity is poised to grow almost threefold to nearly 450 GW over the next five years, according to BTM, a Danish wind-power consultancy. As the deployment of wind power generators has significantly increased in many countries, Japan faces a challenge because of frequent changes in its wind direction, which make it difficult to generate stable power with existing systems. To devise solutions, RIAM, Kyushu University has been conducting research to develop a shrouded wind turbine.
The institute previously designed and evaluated a wind turbine blade based on results from wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics analysis. However, with the previous design software, blade modeling took a long time and delayed the R&D process. After using Catia software, 3D modeling time on a particular task was reduced from more than three days to half a day. In addition, the time for adjusting 3D models and calculation for simulation was also significantly decreased. “The software let us conduct accurate analysis with more detailed and sophisticated 3D models,” says Assistant Professor Takanori Uchida.
Another of Uchida’s projects related to the one above is developing an unsteady numerical model called the RIAM-COMPACT (Computational Prediction of Airflow over Complex Terrain). Turbine site selection in Japan is especially complicated because of the spatial distribution of wind speed over steep complex terrain. The program is based on large-eddy simulations. The object domain of the software is from several meters to several kilometers, predicting the airflow and the gas diffusion over complex terrain with precision.
In the present study, wind simulation of an actual wind farm was executed using the high resolution elevation data. As a result, an appropriate point and an inappropriate point for locating a wind turbine generator were shown. The cause was a topographical irregularity in front of the wind turbine generator. A 2D fluid flow simulation by the software at www.ne-ri.com/HTM/products2.html gives some appreciation of the complexity in airflow as it comes over a large hill.