Numerical simulation of the flow around oscillating wind turbine airfoils Part 1: Forced oscillating airfoil


  • O Guerri
  • A Hamdouni
  • A Sakout



This is the first part of a two part paper on flow around vibrating wind turbine airfoils. In this part 1, the unsteady, incompressible, viscous and laminar flow over a forced oscillating airfoil is computed using a method based on a commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code. Beforehand, the Navier-Stokes equations are solved for the unsteady flow around a NACA 0012 airfoil at a fixed 20° incidence and the low Reynolds numbers of 103 and 104 to check the reliability of the CFD computations. Then the flow around a pitching airfoil is simulated for prescribed values of the reduced frequency. The Navier-Stokes equations are expressed in ALE formulation and solved with moving mesh. The effects of the discretization scheme and the moving mesh technique are investigated. The hysteresis loops of the dynamic stall phenomenon are highlighted.


Leishman, J. G., Challenges in modelling the unsteady aerodynamics of wind turbines, AIAA paper N° 2002-0037, 2002.

Robinson, M. C., Hand, M. M., Simms, D. A. and Schreck, S. J., Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Aerodynamics: Three-Dimensional, Unsteady and separated Flow Influences, NREL report N° NREL/CP-500-26337, 1999.

Hansen, M. O. L., Sorensen, J. N., Voutsinas, S. Sorensen, N. and Madsen, H. Aa., State of the art in wind turbines aerodynamics and aeroelasticity, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 2006, vol. 42, 285-330.

Lindenburg, C. and Snel, H., Aeroelastic stability analysis tools for large wind turbine rotor blades, ECN report, 2003 (

Chaviaropoulos, P. K., Hansen, M. O. L., Nikolaou, L. G., Aggelis, K. A., Gaunaa, M., Von Geyr, H. F., Hirsch, C., Shun, K., Voutsinas, S. G., Tzabiras, G., Perivolaris, Y. and Dyrmose, S. Z., Viscous and Aeroelastic Effects On Wind Turbine Blades. The VISCEL Project. Part II: Aeroelastic Stability Investigations, Wind Energy, 2003, vol. 6, 387-403.

Rasmussen, F., Hansen, M. H., Thomsen, K., Larsen, T. J., Bertagnolio, F., Johansen, J., Madsen, H. A., Bak, C. and Hansen, A. M., Present Status of Aeroelasticity of Wind Turbines, Wind Energy, 2003, vol. 6, 213-228.

Riziotis, V. A., Voutsinas, S. G., Politis, E. S. and Chaviaropoulos, P. K., Aeroelastic Stability of Wind Turbines: the Problem, the Methods and the Issues, Wind Energy, 2004, vol. 7, 373-392.

Bertagnolio, F., Sorensen, N. N., Johansen, J., Politis, E. S., Nikolaou I. G. and Chaviaropoulos P. K., Wind turbine blade aerodynamics and aeroelasticity (KNOW-BLADE), RISOE report N° RIS-R-1492 (EN), 2004.

Abouri, D., Parry, A., Hamdouni, A. and Longatte E., A stable Fluid - Structure - Interaction algorithm: Application to industrial problems. ASME J. Pressure Vessel Technology, 2006, vol. 128, pp. 516-524.

Souli M. and Zolesio J. P., Arbitrary Lagrangian - Eulerian and free surface methods in fluid mechanics, Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg., 2001, vol. 191, pp. 451-466.

Baker, T. J., Mesh generation: Art or science?, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 2005, vol. 41, pp. 29-63.

Issa, R. I., Solution of the implicitly discretised fluid flow equations by operator - splitting, J. Comp. Physics, 1986, vol. 62, 40-65.

Hoarau, Y., Braza, M., Ventikos, Y. and Faghani D., First stages of the transition to turbulence and control in the incompressible detached flow around a NACA 0012 wing, Int. J. of Heat and Fluid Flow, 2006, vol. 27, 878-886.

Sunada, S., Sakaguchi, A., and Kawachi, K., Airfoil section characteristics at a low Reynolds numbers, 1997, J. Fluids Engineering, vol. 119, 129-135.

Laitone, E. V., Wind tunnel tests of wings at Reynolds numbers below 70000, Exp. in Fluids, 1997, vol. 23, 405-409.

Critzos C. C., Heyson H. H. and Bowswinkle R. W., Aerodynamic characteristics of NACA 0012 airfoil section at angle of attack from 0° to 180°, NACA TN 3361, 1955.

Abbot, I. H. and Von Doenhoff, A. E., Theory of wing sections, fifth ed., 1955, Dover publications, New York.

Lee, T. and Gerontakos P., Investigation of flow over an oscillating airfoil, J. Fluid Mechanics, 2004, vol. 512, 313-341.

Hoo, E., Do, K. D. and Pan, J., An investigation on the lift force of a wing pitching in dynamic stall for a comfort control vessel, J. Fluids and Structures, 2005, vol. 21, 707-730.

Akbari, M. H. and Price S. J., Simulation of dynamic stall for a NACA 0012 airfoil using a vortex method, J. Fluids and Structures, 2003, vol. 17, 855-874.

Yang, S., Luo, S. Liu, F. and Tsai, H. M., Computations of the flows over flapping airfoil by the Euler equations, AIAA 43 rd Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, jan. 2005.

Brevins, R. D., Flow - induced vibrations, 2nd ed. 1993, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (ISBN 1-57524-183-8).



How to Cite

Guerri, O., Hamdouni, A. and Sakout, A. (2008) “Numerical simulation of the flow around oscillating wind turbine airfoils Part 1: Forced oscillating airfoil”, The International Journal of Multiphysics, 2(4), pp. 367-386. doi: 10.1260/1750-9548.2.4.367.