Mesh and Model Requirements for Capturing Deep-Stall Aerodynamics in Low-Mach-Number Flows

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The paper presents a comprehensive computational fluid dynamics investigation of the effects of grid resolution and turbulence-model choice for capturing the unsteady three-dimensional aerodynamic performance of NACA 0012 and 0021 airfoils, with specific focus on the deep-stall regime. At high angles of attack (α), wind turbine blades routinely experience vortex-induced vibrations, which can cause significant structural damages. Accurate predictions of post-stall aerodynamics can identify the frequencies at which such vibrations maybe triggered. In this context, the NACA 0012 airfoil simulations are conducted at a chord-based Reynolds number, (Formula presented.), with the k-ω Shear-Stress Transport Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Improved Delayed Detached Eddy Simulation (IDDES) hybrid RANS-Large Eddy Simulation turbulence models. The effect of mesh resolution both in the wall-normal and spanwise directions is investigated. Only the IDDES model with a minimum spanwise resolution of 24 cells per chord length correctly predicts the aerodynamic forces. Spectral analysis shows the peak primary shedding frequency at (Formula presented.), which signifies the end of the stall region. In the post-stall regime, both lift and drag frequencies drop asymptotically with increasing α. The Strouhal number, based on normalised chord length, remains nearly constant in this region. Based on this study, NACA 0021 airfoil runs are performed with IDDES for (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.) on the finest wall-normal mesh and three spanwise grids. Simulations conducted on the finer spanwise grids demonstrate grid independence and show good agreement with experiments. The effect of varying (Formula presented.) on the airfoil frequency statistics is investigated. Additionally, comparison studies are presented to investigate the impact of airfoil thickness on the frequency content at (Formula presented.). The results from the study provide guidance on the choice of mesh resolution with the IDDES model to accurately capture aerodynamic quantities for complex industrial applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)393-418
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Turbulence
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-84751


  • airfoil
  • Deep stall
  • RANS
  • wind turbine


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