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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 05 Dec 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES).

Two-dimensional numerical simulations of vortex-induced vibrations for wind turbine towers

Axelle Viré1, Adriaan Derksen1,2, Mikko Folkersma1, and Kumayl Sarwar2 Axelle Viré et al.
  • 1Wind Energy Section, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
  • 2Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Den Haag, the Netherlands

Abstract. Vortex-induced vibrations (VIV) of wind turbine towers can be critical during the installation phase, when the rotor-nacelle assembly is not yet mounted on the tower. The present work uses numerical simulations to study VIV of a two-dimensional cylinder under conditions that are representative of wind turbine towers, both from a fluid-dynamics and structural-dynamics perspective. First, the numerical tools and fluid-structure interaction algorithm are verified by considering a cylinder vibrating freely in a laminar flow. In that case, both the motion amplitude and frequency are shown to agree well with previous results from the literature. Second, VIV is modelled in the turbulent supercritical regime using Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes equations. In this context, the turbulence model is first validated on flow past a stationary cylinder at high Reynolds number. Then, results from forced vibrations are validated against experimental results for a range of reduced frequencies and velocities. It is shown that the behaviour of the aerodynamic damping changes with the frequency ratio, and can therefore lead to either self-limiting or self-exciting VIV when the cylinder is left to freely vibrate. Finally, results are shown for a freely-vibrating cylinder under realistic flow and structural conditions. While a clear lock-in map is identified and shows good agreement with published numerical and experimental data, the work also highlights the unsteady nature of the aerodynamic forces and motion under certain operating conditions.

Axelle Viré et al.
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Axelle Viré et al.
Axelle Viré et al.
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Short summary
Vortex-induced vibrations are structural vibrations that can occur due to the shedding of flow vortices when a fluid flow passes around a structure. Here, conditions specific to wind turbine towers are investigated numerically. The work highlight a complex interplay between structural and fluid dynamics. In particular, certain conditions lead to a continuous alternation between self-exciting and self-limiting vortex-induced vibrations, linked to a change in the sign of the aerodynamic damping.
Vortex-induced vibrations are structural vibrations that can occur due to the shedding of flow...