Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations of the flow past a leading edge inflatable wing for airborne wind energy applications

Axelle Viré, Patryk Demkowicz, Mikko Folkersma, Arthur Roullier, Roland Schmehl

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this work we present Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations of the flow past the constant design shape of a leading-edge inflatable (LEI) wing. The simulations are performed with a steady-state solver using a k-ω SST turbulence model, covering a range of Reynolds numbers between 105 ≤ and ≤ 15 × 106 and angles of attack varying between-5° and 24°, which are representative for operating conditions in airborne wind energy applications. The resulting force distributions are used to characterize the aerodynamic performance of the wing. We found that a γ-Reθ transition model is required to accurately predict the occurrence of stall up to at least Re= 3 × 106. The work highlights similarities with the flow past a two-dimensional LEI airfoil, in particular, with respect to flow transition and its influence on the aerodynamic properties. The computed values of the lift and drag coefficients agree well with in-flight measurements acquired during the traction phase of the LEI wing operation. The simulations show that the three-dimensional flow field exhibits a significant cross flow along the span of the wing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032007
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Volume1618
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventScience of Making Torque from Wind 2020, TORQUE 2020 - Online, Virtual, Online, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Sep 20202 Oct 2020

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