Numerical simulation of foil with leading-edge tubercle for vertical-axis tidal-current turbine
Keywords:Foil simulation, leading-edge tubercle, computational fluid dynamics, vertical-axis turbine, tidal-current energy
The main disadvantage of the vertical-axis turbine is its low coefficient of performance. The purpose of this work was to propose a method to improve this performance by investigating the hydrodynamic forces and the flow-field of a foil that was modified with a sinusoidal leading-edge tubercle. NACA 63(4)021 was chosen as the original foil since it has a symmetrical profile that is suitable for use on a vertical-axis tidal-current turbine. The study was conducted using a numerical simulation method with ANSYS-CFX Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code to solve the incompressible Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. Firstly, the simulation results of the original foil were validated with available experimental data. Secondly, the modified foils, with three configurations of tubercles, were modelled. From the simulation results, the tubercle foils, when compared with the original foil, had similar lift performances at low Angles of Attack (0-8 degrees of AoA), lower lift performances at medium AoA (8-19 degrees) and higher lift performances at high AoA (19-32 degrees). A tubercle foil with Height/Chord (H/C) of 0.05 can maintain the static stall condition until 32 degrees. Therefore, a vertical-axis turbine with tubercle-blades provides an opportunity to increase its performance by extending the operational range for extracting energy in the dynamic stall condition.