The future generation of wind turbines will be characterised by longer and more flexible blades. These large wind turbines are facing higher Reynolds numbers, as a consequence of longer chord lengths and increased relative wind speeds. Higher tip speeds, however, also result in an increased Mach number. Although the maximum tip speed in steady design conditions may remain (well) below the critical value, the presence of turbulence, wind gusts, blade deflections, etc. in combination with the flow acceleration over the airfoil surface, may cause a significant increase in the velocity perceived over the blade surface. We have evaluated the operational conditions of the IEA 15MW reference turbine using OpenFAST in normal design and off-design conditions to demonstrate that, if unabated, near-future wind turbines will be at risk of suffering from local supersonic flow. The driving factor is identified to be inflow turbulence, however, the tip airfoil is also of major importance. Local supersonic flow conditions may lead to severe lifetime degradation.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Physics: Conference Series|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|Event||2022 Science of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2022 - Delft, Netherlands|
Duration: 1 Jun 2022 → 3 Jun 2022