Aerodynamics for wind turbines

Wind turbines are machines driven by aerodynamics. Their loads, performance, and also the majority of the noise they produce depend directly on the aerodynamics of the rotor blades themselves. Developments which improve the aerodynamics of wind turbines are therefore an ongoing requirement, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are utilized to bring about these improvements.

At Fraunhofer IWES, one of the main focuses is on the enhancement of numerical methods for better prediction of wind turbine aerodynamics and, to this end, we employ the open-source CFD code OpenFOAM. Fraunhofer IWES works intensively in the following fields, where detailed investigations and solutions to specific problems can be offered.


Meshing and CFD simulations of wind Turbines

Advanced CFD simulations of complete wind turbines can assist during the design phase and can be used to analyze specific flow behavior. Automated mesh generation tools offer the possibility of performing efficient CFD simulations.


Airfoil simulations and optimization

Airfoil polars can be generated by CFD with steady-state or unsteady eddy-resolving methods. In addition, add-ons like vortex generators can be included and the airfoils can be optimized for certain conditions.


Improvements of engineering models

The Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory is the basis for wind turbine design. Fraunhofer IWES is working on improvements to the BEM correction models, which can lead to a lower cost of energy.

Load calculations and system dynamics

Fraunhofer IWES conducts research in the field of aero-hydro-servo-elastic simulations of wind turbines and boasts expertise in the load analysis of wind turbines.

Software developments and tutorials

For some tools the software may need to be extended. Fraunhofer IWES offers this development specifically tailored to individual requirements.

OpenFOAM training and SOWE

Open-source codes are not always easy to use. Therefore, Fraunhofer IWES teaches how to simulate with OpenFOAM.