Fluid dynamics

Fluid Dynamics

Computational, numerical and experimental methods for fluid dynamics in offshore renewable energy applications

The activities in this area cover a wide range of topics inherent to both experimental testing of scaled prototypes and the development of advanced mathematical models and computational and numerical methods for the resolution of several problems in the field of fluid-dynamics and aerodynamics. Both the approaches are applied to analyze and solve a variety of technical problems and designs in the field of offshore renewable energy (ORE) such as off-shore wind turbines or wave energy converters (WEC). In addition, the post-processing and analysis of signals measured in scaled models as well as full scale prototypes (e. g. at BiMEP) allows for the calibration, verification and validation of the computational models.

The scientific activities developed so far by the JRL-ORE within this area include:

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics approaches for the resolution of multi-physics and multi-scale problems. A wide range of ORE-related problems can be solved by using commercial options (such as STAR-CCM+ and Ansys FLUENT) or by developing open-source finite element software such as FeNICS-HPC. Among the wide range of problems treated in this research area the following ones may be outlined as representative examples: (1) the coupling compressible/incompressible codes for the resolution of the full complex system represented by a wave energy converter (WEC) Oscillating Water Column (OWC) with an air turbine, (2) the hydrodynamics and dynamics of floating bodies under the presence of ocean waves; (3) the optimization of passive flow control systems(e.g. vortex generators, moving flaps, Gurney flaps or microtabs) used in off-shore wind turbines to improve the efficiency and delay the deleterious phenomenon of stall occurring at high angles of attack.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics for Non-Newtonian fluids. Modelling the dynamics, transportation and deposition of sediments under different flow conditions is an important task in order to understand the behaviour against erosion of sea bottom foundations. In the JRL-ORE, this problem will be tackled using multiscale models coupling a Smoothed Dissipative Particle Dynamics (SDPD) model for the modelling of the sediment particles in a mesoscopic scale together with Lagrangian methods, such as Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics methods, for the macroscale modelling of the sediment transportation.
  • Experimental analysis of wave-floating structures interaction: the 12 m-long experimental wave flume, operating at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Fluid Mechanics of the UPV/EHU is equipped with a versatile wavemaker, wave detection and extinction systems, in order to investigate the hydrodynamics behavior of small scale prototypes for offshore wind support structures and WEC technologies. In addition, in JRL-ORE procedures for the treatment of signals from experimental campaigns have been developed aimed at the verification, calibration and validation of numerical models used to solve the physics present in the aforementioned technologies.

Contact and more information: Gustavo Esteban and Vincenzo Nava