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Modelling and Simulation in Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 714146, 8 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Turbulence Models for Flow Simulation around a Wind Turbine Airfoil

1École Polytechnique de Montréal, Campus de l'Université de Montréal, 2500 Chemin du Polytechnique, Montréal, QC, Canada H3T 1J4
2Laboratoire de Recherche en énergie éolienne, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300 Allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, QC, Canada G5L 3A1

Received 23 September 2010; Revised 10 February 2011; Accepted 15 February 2011

Academic Editor: Guan Yeoh

Copyright © 2011 Fernando Villalpando 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.


This investigation focuses on the application of the computational fluid dynamics tool FLUENT to the study of flows over the NACA 63–415 airfoil at various angles of attack. With the aim of selecting the most suitable turbulence model to simulate flow around ice-accreted airfoils, this work concentrates on assessing the prediction capabilities of various turbulence models on clean airfoils at the large angles of attack that cause highly separated flows to occur. The study was undertaken by conducting simulations with the one-equation Spalart-Allmaras (SA) model, the two-equation RNG and SST models, and the Reynolds stress model (RSM). Domain discretization was carried out using general quadrilateral grids generated with GAMBIT, the FLUENT preprocessing tool. Comparisons were made with available experimental data.