High Fidelity Wind Turbine Analysis Tool Leveraging High Performance Computing (HPC)

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
02 a
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc.
635 Vaqueros Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA, 94085-3524
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Hossein Saberi
(408) 523-5115
Business Contact:
Donna Carrig
(408) 523-5123
Research Institution:

There is a need in the wind industry for a comprehensive analysis code that is tailored to wind turbine analysis, intuitive to use, fast, accurate, and scalable. Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc. (ART) would like to fulfill this need by adapting its industry leading comprehensive helicopter analysis codes for wind turbine analysis. The end product would be Wind Turbine Comprehensive Analysis Software (WTCAS) and would be dedicated to the modeling and analysis of wind turbine systems. ART has supported the helicopter industry with comprehensive analysis codes and consulting since 1982. ART is especially well suited for this task because of its flagship finite element comprehensive analysis products, RCAS and FLIGHTLAB. These software products provide the helicopter industry with turnkey analysis programs that are fast, accurate, extremely scalable, and intuitive to use. ART would leverage this existing software to create WTCAS by reusing their software architecture and analysis methodology, and adapting their structural and aerodynamic element libraries for improved applicability to wind turbine applications. Adapting ART & apos;s existing comprehensive analysis codes will enable fast and cost-effective development of WTCAS and allow much of this SBIR to focus on enhancement of WTCAS for modeling and analysis issues specific to wind turbines. At the end of Phase I, ART will have developed and demonstrated an initial implementation of WTCAS. This implementation of WTCAS will be capable of performing a wide variety of analyses and form a strong basis for Phase II development by tangibly demonstrating its advantages over the current generation of analysis tools. The objective of Phase II will be to create a market ready version of the Wind Turbine Comprehensive Analysis System and provide a superior comprehensive analysis alternative to today & apos;s analysis tools. During Phase II, this project will focus on expanding WTCAS scalability, usability, and flexibility. A benchmark WTCAS-CFD coupling analysis using high fidelity 2-D shell elements will be performed and validated and utilities to facilitate the process of coupling CFD with WTCAS will be developed. A high performance computing scheme for WTCAS-CFD coupling will be implemented to reduce the benchmark WTCAS-CFD coupling analysis run-time. Additionally, a variety of WTCAS analysis utility functions will be added including moving block FFT and harmonic analysis. Unfortunately, the current generation of wind turbine analysis tools has not kept pace with the rapid development of the industry and does not satisfy today & apos;s analysis needs. The primary issue with the current set of analysis tools is that there is no comprehensive option available that computes the coupled aerodynamics and structural dynamics of a model. This limitation forces the user to perform the error prone and unnecessary task of coupling (at least) two independent codes when running an aero-elastic analysis. While no comprehensive analysis option currently exists in the wind turbine industry, the helicopter industry has developed several comprehensive analysis programs that fulfill the majority of wind industry needs. Helicopter and wind turbine analysis is fundamentally similar as both systems require advanced aerodynamic modeling and include a rotor, non-rotating structure (fuselage or tower), and drivetrain. Advanced Rotorcraft Technology plans to leverage its expertise and existing comprehensive helicopter analysis programs to develop the Wind Turbine Comprehensive Analysis System (WTCAS). Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: WTCAS will greatly enhance the capability with which wind turbine designers, manufacturers, and researchers can setup and analyze complete aero-elastic modeling problems. This will allow the wind turbine industry to focus more on, and better analyze, novel wind turbine designs that improve performance and reliability, reduce acoustic noise, and lower maintenance costs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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