'Simulation of the airflow around a wind turbine' simulation project by jprobst


I created a new simulation project called 'Simulation of the airflow around a wind turbine':

The air flow around a horizontal axis wind turbine HAWT and the resulting forces on the rotor are simulated.

More of my public projects can be found here.


This project demonstrates how SimScale can be used to assess the performance of a wind turbine. The external flow around a rotor is simulated and the forces acted by the air upon the rotor are computed. Using the Multi Reference Frame (MRF) method, the rotational motion of the rotor is ensured. The geometry is courtesy of GrabCAD member Jeff Lewis and has been prepared such that a MRF zone around the rotor can be defined by means of an extra cylinder. The mesh was created using snappyHexMesh on SimScale. This project shows how a surface refinement can be used to define the cells which can be used for an MRF simulation. The resulting mesh consists of about 2M cells in total. Boundary layers were created around the rotor blades, the nacelle and the tower. A clipped view through the mesh is shown below.

The simulation is carried out incompressible, steady-state with the k-omega SST turbulence model. In addition, this project possesses two special features, namely a rotating zone (MRF) and force/moment calculation. The simulation was run on an 8-core machine where it took around 3.5 hours to complete.

The results can be viewed in SimScale’s online post-processor. The picture above depicts the air speed near the blades and shows how the streamlines are curved in the vicinity of the rotor.

This plot shows the convergence of the forces and moments on the rotor surface. With these values, the actual performance of the wind turbine can be assessed.


I would appreciate have more details of implementations. For example how can the published coeficient be correlated to the several parameters that influenciate turbine performance? …such as blade angle of attack, blade planform and external parameters like wind/air characteristics.?


Hi @Osmar,
the forces and moments which are shown in the graph can be used to calculate the turbine power using the relation P=M\omega, with P being the power in Watt, M as torque in Nm and \omega as the angular velocity which is known from the rotating zone. Since the turbine axis is not completely aligned with the global coordinate system, a simple transformation needs to project the total torque vector on the turbine rotation axis.

This project demonstrates how one certain configuration of a wind turbine can be simulated. In order to study the effect of a different blade shape or another wind speed, a new simulation needs to be performed.
If one wants to see the effect of a change to the turbine geometry, he has to modify the CAD geometry accordingly. In order to assess the influence of wind speed it is enough to change the boundary condition and start a new run.


Hi jprobst,

I am working on vertical type wind turbine can you please give me information about the parameters input for simulation after mesh is done. I have completed the mesh and now heading to next step having trouble to put coordinates and other data if possible can you provide your simulation data for reference.



Hi @bhavdeeppatel91
Certainly. You can directly proceed to the simulation setup using this link
Let me know if you require more assistance.


Hi , @jprobst,

i have tried to do the setup but it has some error such as “” Some faces are missing a boundary condition assignment. If you choose to proceed, a no-slip wall boundary will be assumed for those faces"". i could not select the rotor and the other solids. can you please guide me to do the single part selection steps to select proper parts. how can i select only rotor for boundary condition.

Thank you


Hi @bhavdeeppatel91

I had a look at your project and it seems that you simply need to hide the box faces which are occluding the rotor. I attached a screenshot which demonstrates where you have to click.

After this, you can see the inside of your mesh.

One more remark, if I may. The mesh seems too coarse around the rotor. You can see that the mesh doesn’t really follow the shape of the rotor. You can see it in this picture:

Did this help?