Computational Fluid Dynamics finds ways to reduce maintenance and repair costs of large wind plants.
Much emphasis has been placed on the repair and maintenance aspects of windpower production as of late. Questions such as how often to schedule maintenance? How much of your budget do you allocate to maintenance? If properly maintained, how will the life of the turbine be extended? These are all very valuable questions, and they relate directly to the costs and subsequent revenue streams of a wind project.
CFD software has recently been able to simulate the turbulence caused by the rotation of a wind turbine, subsequently finding where and why stresses occur on turbines further down the wind stream. The image below is a representation of common turbulence caused through the production of windpower. Through this simulation, we have been able to show that turbines that have been placed down stream from the front line of turbines are exposed to increased stresses due mainly to horizontal wind shear.
A recent study performed shows that turbulence can be twice normal levels at 10 rotor diameters downstream, causing a 25% decrease in wind velocity which leads to a reduced power output as well.
For more information, visit