Table of Contents
Journal of Aerodynamics
Volume 2014, Article ID 860637, 13 pages
Research Article

Computational Aerodynamic Analysis of Offshore Upwind and Downwind Turbines

The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA

Received 10 July 2014; Accepted 30 September 2014; Published 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Noor A. Ahmed

Copyright © 2014 Qiuying Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aerodynamic interactions of the model NREL 5 MW offshore horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT) are investigated using a high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. Four wind turbine configurations are considered; three-bladed upwind and downwind and two-bladed upwind and downwind configurations, which operate at two different rotor speeds of 12.1 and 16 RPM. In the present study, both steady and unsteady aerodynamic loads, such as the rotor torque, blade hub bending moment, and base the tower bending moment of the tower, are evaluated in detail to provide overall assessment of different wind turbine configurations. Aerodynamic interactions between the rotor and tower are analyzed, including the rotor wake development downstream. The computational analysis provides insight into aerodynamic performance of the upwind and downwind, two- and three-bladed horizontal axis wind turbines.