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Transition Of Flow To Turbulence On A Wind-turbine Airfoil. Displayed Are Isosurfaces Of Vorticity From A Large Eddy Simulation (LES).

To ensure that GE’s wind blades do not pose noise issues today, airfoil level acoustic measurements are performed in wind tunnels, field measurements are done to validate acceptable noise levels, and noise-reducing operating modes are implemented in the control system. Better modeling will help maintain the current low noise levels while boosting output.

“Sandia and other DOE national laboratories are using high-performance computing resources to tackle complex design problems in wind energy, such as reducing turbine blade noise to achieve significant reductions in cost-of-energy. Sandia helped GE gain valuable insights into blade noise mechanisms and how design engineers can improve their models,” said Matt Barone, of Sandia’s Aerosciences Department, formerly of the Wind Energy Technologies Department.

GE’s testing involved Sandia’s Red Mesa supercomputer running a high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulation (LES) code, developed at Stanford University, to predict the detailed fluid dynamic phenomena and resulting wind blade noise. For a period of three months, this LES simulation of the turbulent air flow past a wind blade section was continuously performed on the Red Mesa HPC. The resulting flow-field predictions yielded valuable insights that were used to assess current engineering design models, the assumptions they make that most impact noise predictions, and the accuracy and reliability of model choices.

“We found that high fidelity models can play a key role in accurately predicting trailing edge noise,” Jonkhof went on to say. “We believe that the results achieved from our simulations would, at the very least, lay the groundwork for improved noise design models.”

About GE Global Research

GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what’s possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world’s toughest problems.

We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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