SimScale CAE Forum

Torque and speed from rotating turbine?

I am brand new to SimScale, but have some tons of experience with Solidworks CAD and SW Flow Simulation. Is it possible to produce torque and speed values of a rotating turbine axle using the SimScale CFD analysis? What I would really love to do is create a simulation, then compare the data to a physical model in my lab and ultimately use the simulation to predict how a turbine will scale based on dimensions and fluid conditions.

If this is remotely possible, can you list out some tutorials I should watch on the subject?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi @snelson,

this can be done by creating an output that gives you the forces and moments and then calculating the power (if you like) with the relation P=M\omega .

P : power in Watt
M : torque
\omega: angular velocity which is known from the rotating zones.

Our Power User @1318980 already gave some good inputs on a wind turbine at least which you can look up here:

Wind Turbine blade, fluid and structural optimisation using CAE (Part 1)

Wind turbines

For tutorials in general I would recommend:

Video tutorials and
Interactive tutorials

If you need help or more information, please let me know.

Have a nice weekend!



I’ve read everything I could identify as relevant, but it’s still not clear if I can achieve my goal using SimScale …

Can I simulate the effect of a compressible fluid’s flow on a solid body that’s free to rotate? Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have access to this: Wind Turbine blade, fluid and structural optimisation using CAE (Part 1)

Thanks for any good hints!

Hi @agiardina,

you have access to this project. Simply open the project of Darren (@1318980) and click on Actions \rightarrow Make a copy

And yes, compressible simulation setups are also possible.

For more information about Rotating zones, have a look at this link: Rotating zones

If you have more questions, feel free to ask!



Hi @agiardina, certainly the compressible bit. Instead of free to rotate, wind turbines usually have a design speed in which you which the turbine to spin at. This speed is determined by a number of parameters which I explain in the post I believe. If the blades were just free to rotate then there wouldn’t be any resistance and thus no power, just spinning in the wind.

I listed a few resources that were helpful to me at the bottom, one of them is very graphic and helps understand the different parameters and concepts to think about.


Hi guys,

Thanks for your replies.

So, if I understand correctly, it is NOT possible for me to measure the mechanical rotation CAUSED by a given flow and adjust the resistance (load) and other parameters. Please confirm if this is correct. If it is indeed possible, please guide me in the right direction. Thanks.



Hi @agiardina, no not explicitly. If this was your desire you could run a series of simulations at different rotating velocities and a fixed wind speed to determine where your zero moments would approximately be.

I must say tho I fail to see why you want to do this, usually adjusting the blade pitch to try and keep power constant. Varying power would require a geared generator allowing more power to be taken at high wind speeds, i.e. higher rotating velocities. This is obviously better but would make your design and simulations that much more complex. So to get the information you want, you need to run a lot of simulations to understand how your design performs under different wind speeds and pitch angles.

This is just information I have learnt whilst doing my own research, I do encourage you to read the resources.

@jousefm actually I can’t seem to find my post. When I clicked your link above it said I didn’t have access to it.

Kind regards,


indeed the section is closed! @AnnaFless, any comments on that?

@jousefm and @1318980 reopened it - should be available

Thanks again for your comments.

Unfortunately, you’re assuming that I’m wanting to simulate a conventional wind turbine blade, which is not the case, in fact. :slight_smile:

So reiterating my conclusion: It is not possible to simulate how a mechanical structure that is free to rotate reacts at a given wind speed. Correct?

I seem to remember reading somewhere that flow-induced motion is supported by ANSYS and COMSOL(?) … which I don’t have access to.

Thanks for your help.

Hi @agiardina, yes I did assume that. So yes unfortunatly you are not able to just let it free spin, but you could use my suggestion above, and that was to run several simulations at different rotating velocities to get a very good approximation of the rotational speed in which moment will be zero? Or at the expense of computational time you could ramp up the angular velocity and analyse the exact point in which moments equalled zero?


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@agiardina you could also suggest this feature in the new vote for features section? It won’t help in the short run, but it will help priorities feature addition :slight_smile: maybe if you just explain why you need the feature along with how you would expect it to work others might share your requirements? Just a thought.

Kind regards,

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