224. COMPUTATIONAL FLUID-STRUCTURE INTERACTION FOR WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS
Name: Ming-Chen Hsu
Grad Year: 2012
The rising costs and highly fluctuating prices of oil and natural gas, as well as their constantly diminishing supplies, create the need for cheaper, sustainable alternative energy sources. Wind turbines, that harvest wind energy and convert it to electricity and power, are viewed as such an energy source that plays an increasingly important role and receives a lot of attention from the government and industry worldwide.
Wind turbines present a challenge that requires significant engineering effort. It is well known that computational mechanics plays a key role in the design and analysis of complex engineering systems. Crash analysis in the automotive industry, as well as design and evaluation of commercial and military aircraft are done using advanced computational tools. As such, wind turbines, that present a significant engineering challenge, should not be an exception. Regretfully, computational methods for wind turbine analysis are notably lacking.
This work focuses on developing a fully integrated geometry modeling, simulation, and visualization framework for analysis, evaluation, and optimization of wind turbine designs. The basis of this framework is NURBS-based isogeometric analysis, which simultaneously allows for efficient representation of complex geometry and higher-order accurate analysis. Wind turbines are dominated by rotating motion of the blades, for which NURBS are well suited and present an added benefit of exact representation of bodies of revolution.