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IAETSD JOURNAL FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH IN APPLIED SCIENCES, VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1, JAN-JUNE /2017

ISSN (ONLINE): 2394-8442

Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER Airfoils for


Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
DEEPANSHU NIGAM [1], Dr. T.S.DESMUKH [2]
[1]
Scholar, Civil Engineering Department, [2] Professor, Civil Engineering Department, MANIT, Bhopal
[1]
deepanshunigam50@gmail.com

ABSTRACT.
In this paper analysis of flow over airfoils - NACA 4412, NACA 23012, EPPLER 637 and NREL S801 was
performed using the ANSYS 16.1 CFD software ICEM 16.1 and CFX 16.1. The software obtained the flow by solving the
governing equations of continuity, momentum and energy conservation combined with the standard k- and SST turbulence
models. The angle of attack (AOA) was kept constant at 0 degrees and analysis was performed for two cases of flow velocity
11 and 15 m/s. It is observed that the effect on the aerodynamic characteristics of various airfoils is associated with their shape.
They behave differently under same conditions in terms of lift and drag.

KEYWORDS- Aerodynamic Characteristics, Airfoils, Lift, Drag, AOA, Wind Turbine, CFD, Renewable Energy.

I. INTRODUCTION
Energy derived from wind power is amongst the most abundant sources of renewable energy. Wind energy has an added advantage of low cost
in comparison to the conventional source of energy like coal, petroleum etc. In the present scenario the world is struggling with the problem of
energy crisis and climate change, as such wind energy can prove to be most useful. A wind turbine is basically a machine that converts wind
power into electrical energy. The main part of a wind turbine which is responsible for energy conversion is the rotor blades. The blades are made
up of airfoil sections. Hence, performance of the wind turbine depends to a large extent on the aerodynamic characteristics of the airfoil sections
selected. Computational analysis of various airfoil sections is essential for selecting a suitable wind turbine blade. Numerical simulation using
CFD is a good means for assessing the performance of airfoils.

II. AIRFOIL
The aerodynamic cross section of a body such as a wing that creates lift as it moves through air or fluid is called as an airfoil or aerofoil. An
airfoil shape body when oriented at a suitable angle, and moved through a fluid medium such as air results in a force on the airfoil. This force is
known as aerodynamic force and can be resolved into two components, Lift and drag. The component of this force perpendicular to the direction
of motion is called lift (L). The component parallel to the direction of motion is called drag (D). This "turning" of the air in the vicinity of the
airfoil creates curved streamlines which results in lower pressure on one side and higher pressure on the other. This effect can be utilized for
rotating the blades of wind turbine to produce wind electricity or wind power.

L = 0.5**CL*A*V2
D = 0.5**CD*A*V2
Where,
Density of air (at 250C, 1.1839 Kg/m3)
CL Coefficient of Lift
CD Coefficient of Drag
A Area of airfoil
V Velocity of wind (air)

NACA 4412

To Cite This Article: DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH,. Comparative Performance Analysis of
NACA, NREL, EPPLER Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in
Natural and Applied Sciences ;Pages: 173-180
174. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

NACA 23012

EPPLER 637

NREL S801

Fig. 1 Airfoils used for simulation.

III. LITERATURE REVIEW


Ji Yao et.al. [1] 2012, performed the numerical simulation and analyzed the aerodynamic performance of wind turbine airfoil NACA0018 by
obtaining the lift and drag coefficient of the airfoil under different turbulence models at angle of attack between -80 and 130, which was then
compared with the experimental data. Also, the applicability of the turbulence models for the different airfoils numerical simulation was
investigated, and the flow field structure was analyzed. The computational results provided a reference for the research and development of wind
turbine airfoils. Mahindra Agrawal et.al. [2] 2013, analyzed the basic aerodynamic theory of wings followed by the experimental result obtained
from the wind tunnel testing of a NACA4412 and the analysis of the data. It was observed that lift increases as the angle of attack increase and at
certain point it become maximum. After that if the angle of attack was increased further, drag become the dominant factor and the wind enters
the stall mode. M. Vega Del Carmen et.at. [3] 2015, carried out the aerodynamic design of a 1 MW horizontal axis wind turbine for electricity
generation on large scale. In the aerodynamic design, Strip theory was used to get the final geometry of the blades. Model test for the designed
rotor were performed at Applied Thermal and Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory on a scaled down rotor of 80 cm diameter. The test was
conducted to get the behavior of the turbine in terms of power generated with the variation of the pitch angle for different tip speed ratios. The
best power coefficient was achieved for a tip speed ratio of 8.5 and at a pitch angle of 0. N. Rostamzadeh et.al. [4] 2012 performed an
experimental and computational study of Flow over a NACA 0021 Airfoil with Wavy Leading Edge Modification. It was employed to modify a
NACA 0021 airfoil for wind tunnel pressure measurement tests in the transitional flow regime. Computational fluid dynamics study was
performed using the SST transitional model in the context of unsteady RANS at several attack angles. The results from the numerical
investigation were in reasonable agreement with those of the experiments. P.Prabhakara Rao, et.al. [5] 2014, carried out the CFD analysis on
airfoils at high angles of attack, the geometry was modeled in CATIA V5 R19, pre-processing was done in ANSYS ICEM CFD 14.0 and
simulations were carried out in ANSYS FLUENT 14.0. The overall aim of the project was to improve airfoil performance at high angles-of-
attack by obtaining the optimum position for placing Dimple and cylinder (grooves and extended surfaces) for enhancing airfoil performance.
Sarfaraj Nawaz Saha et.at. [6] 2015, studied the experimental characteristic graph of NACA 2415 from the book, Theory of wing section by
IRA H. ABBOTT and compared it with simulation results of CFD and Java foil under same conditions of flow as they are in the experiment. It is
found that the theoretical results of CFD are closest to the experimental values as compared to those in Java foil.

IV. NUMERICAL AND TURBULENCE MODELING


The present study is aimed at studying the lift characteristics of asymmetric airfoil profiles at zero degree angle of attack. Four profiles have
been selected for analysis namely NACA 4412, NACA 23012, EPPLER 637 and NREL S801. The mass conservation equation, full Navier-
Stokes equation, and energy equations are the governing equations used for analyzing the flow. The simulation has been performed for two
turbulence models, the standard k- and SST turbulence model.
175. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

V. COMPUTATIONAL MODEL AND BOUNDARY CONDITIONS


The various airfoils are created in ICEM CFD 16.1. The domain for analysis is defined such that the inlet at a distance twice the length of airfoil
and the outlet at a distance four time the length of airfoil from the leading edge. While, top and bottom surfaces are kept at distances equal to
twice the length of profile. The geometry was created and meshed in ICEM CFD 16.1 taking global size element 0.49 and 0.01 as part size
element for airfoil. The simulations were carried out at zero degree angle of attack for two cases, inlet velocity 11 m/s and 15 m/s.

GEOMETRY

MESH

CFX PREVIEW

Fig. 2 Computational Model.

VI. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


The flow simulations were performed for all the profiles (NACA 4412, NACA 23012, EPPLER 637 and NREL S801) at two inlet velocities (11
m/s and 15 m/s) and two turbulence models (k- and SST) for all the four profiles. The flow was analyzed on the basis of pressure and velocity
contours. The pressure contours for the four airfoils are shown in Fig. 3.

EPPLER 637
176. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

NACA 23012

NACA 4412

NREL S801

Fig. 3 Pressure Contours for Airfoils at 11m/s and k- Turbulence Model.

Comparison of all the four airfoil profiles for same flow velocity and turbulence model:

A closer look at the pressure contours as shown in Fig. 3 explains the reason behind difference in coefficient of lift for various profiles for
similar condition i.e. for a particular wind speed and turbulence model. The pressure difference at upper and lower surfaces of airfoils, pressure
difference at leading and trailing edges and density of a particular pressure value in a region dominating in one and lagging in another around
airfoils are main cause of this difference.

General observation one can see is that in case of EPPLER 637 and NACA 23012 airfoils the low pressure region is concentrated above the front
portion of airfoil profile and specifically on the upper surface. While, on the other hand it is distributed almost over the entire upper surface of
NREL S801 and NACA 4412 airfoils. This creates more pressure gradient from bottom to top surface in the latter pair of airfoils as compared to
the former, around 50 Pa more. Due to this more lift is generated for NREL S801 and NACA 4412 airfoils and hence better lift characteristics
are obtained.

A detailed comparison of EPPLER 637 and NREL S801 airfoil profiles in the light of above discussion can be worked out using their pressure
contours with specific regions marked as shown in Fig. 4. In NREL S801 airfoil the low pressure region i.e. region 1 is far stretched as compared
to that in EPPLER 637 airfoil. Also, in region 2 the pressure difference is negligible and at the very tip of the trailing edge in EPPLER 637
airfoil rendering it useless while in NREL S801 airfoil it is somewhat at the lower surface beneath trailing edge and has a magnitude of nearly
100 Pa, hence contributing towards more lift. Moreover, region 3 and 4 are at low pressure in NREL S801 airfoil as compared to that in
EPPLER 637 airfoil which are adding more to lift force as direction of forces are not conflicting unlike EPPLER 637 airfoil.
177. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

EPPLER 637

NREL S801
Fig. 4 Comparative Pressure Contours for EPPLER 637 and NREL S801.

Comparison of a single airfoil profile for same flow velocity but different turbulence models:

Observing the pressure contours of NACA 4412 airfoil for 15 m/s flow velocity and both turbulence models i.e. k- and SST which is taken as
example to carry out above mentioned comparison, it can be explained that the high pressure zone in case of SST turbulence model is
considerably large as compared to that in k- turbulence model at lower surface of airfoils i.e. region 1 as shown in Fig 5. The pressure
difference between lower and upper surfaces i.e. higher and lower pressure surfaces are 200 Pa in case of SST turbulence model while in case of
k- turbulence model it is 150 Pa. Due to this more upward force is generated in case of SST turbulence model creating more lift.

k- Turbulence Model

SST Turbulence Model


Fig. 5 Pressure Contours for NACA 4412 at 15m/s and Both Turbulence Models.
178. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

In region 2 of SST turbulence model the pressure is 101400 Pa which is higher than 101300 Pa as that of k- turbulence model hence more
upward force even from the trailing edge side of airfoil and therefore more lift in SST turbulence model. The above observation is because of
ability of SST turbulence model to solve the flow near to the wall in boundary layer i.e. in the viscous sub-layer and buffer layer more accurately
than k- turbulence model which only solve the flow away from the wall in boundary layer where fully turbulent flow is developed. In the
present work boundary layer is developed on airfoil surface and it acts as a wall. The corresponding graphs for above discussion are shown in
Fig. 6 and Fig. 7. Coefficients of lift for all the cases are presented in a tabulated form in Table 1.

K-Epsilon Model SST Model

0,60

0.53063868
0,55
0,54124797
0,50
0.47084192
0.47071557
0,45

0,40
Coefficient of Lift

0.32350635
0,35

0.30501864
0,30
0.29111671
0,25
0.26123353
0,20

0,15

0,10

0,05

0,00
EPPLER 637 NACA 23012 NREL S801 NACA 4412
Airfoil Profiles

Fig. 6 Coefficient of lift for flow velocity 11 m/s and 0 degree angle of attack.

K-Epsilon Model SST Model

0,60

0.53624649
0,55
0.54795919
0,50 0.48193259
0.48365571
0,45
Coefficient of Lift

0,40
0.32669726
0,35

0.30919766
0,30
0,29675592 0.26912520
0,25

0,20

0,15

0,10

0,05

0,00
EPPLER 637 NACA 23012 NREL S801 NACA 4412
Airfoil Profiles

Fig. 7 Coefficient of Lift for flow velocity 15 m/s and 0 degree angle of attack.
179. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

CL
Turbulenc
Profile
e Model
11 m/s 15 m/s

k- 0.29111671 0.2967559
EPPLER 637
SST 0.32350635 0.3266972

k- 0.26123353 0.2691252
NACA 23012
SST 0.30501864 0.3091976

k- 0.47071557 0.4836557
NREL S801
SST 0.54124797 0.5479591

k- 0.47084192 0.4819325
NACA 4412
SST 0.53063868 0.5362464

Table 1 Various Airfoil Profiles, Models and Coefficient of Lift.

From above graphs and table it is observed that as we increase the wind speed, coefficient of lift will increase for all airfoils. Also, SST
turbulence model gives a higher value of coefficient of lift for a particular profile as compared to that obtained from k- turbulence model for a
constant wind speed and also for a constant angle of attack which is kept at 0 degree in this work. This is also evident from the pressure contours
discussed above.

VII. CONCLUSION
In this work numerical simulations were performed to study the lift performances of NACA 4412, NACA 23012, EPPLER 637 and NREL S801
airfoil profiles. Results of the study show that asymmetric airfoils can create considerable lift even at zero (0) degree angle of attack. NREL
S801 airfoil among the all airfoils taken for study in this paper has best lift characteristics for flow velocities of 11 and 15 m/s and both
turbulence models i.e. k- and SST turbulence models. SST turbulence model gives a higher value of coefficient of lift.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I am greatly indebted to my esteemed institution, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. I extend my
gratitude for the assistance provided by department faculty professor Dr. T.S.Desmukh. The privilege of working on this project using CFD lab
facilities remains memorable.

REFERENCES
[1] Ji Yao, Weibin Yuan, Jianliang Wang, Jianbin Xie , Haipeng Zhou , Mingjun Peng, Yong Sun, Kunming University of Science and
Technology, Kunming 650024 China, Numerical simulation of aerodynamic performance for two dimensional wind turbine airfoils,
International Conference on Advances in Computational Modeling and Simulation, Procedia Engineering 31 (2012), pp. 80 86, 2012.

[2] Mahendra Agrawal, Gaurav Saxena, Department of mechanical engineering SRCEM banmore, RGPV University, India, Analysis of wings
using Airfoil NACA 4412 at different angle of attack, International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER), Vol. 3,Issue. 3, pp-
1467-1469, May-June 2013.

[3] M. Vega Del Carmen, M. Toledo Velzquez, J. Abugaber Francis, A. Reyes Len, O. Pineda, D. Almazo, Laboratory of Thermal Engineering
and Applied Hydraulics (LABINTHAP), Experimental Test of a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine with Variable-Pitch Blades, 15th National
Engineering Congress Electromechanical and Systems (CNIES 2015), article no. 36, pp. 1-6, October 13-17 2015.

[4] N. Rostamzadeh, R.M. Kelso, B.B. Dally, An Experimental and Computational Study of Flow over a NACA 0021 Airfoil with Wavy Leading
Edge Modification, 18th Australasia Fluid Mechanics Conference Launceston, Australia, 3-7 December 2012.

[5] P.PrabhakaraRao and Sri Sampath.V, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kakatiya Institute of Technology& Science Warangal-
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180. DEEPANSHU NIGAM and Dr. T.S.DESMUKH ,. Comparative Performance Analysis of NACA, NREL, EPPLER
Airfoils for Wind Turbine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences;
Pages: 173-180

[6] Sarfaraj Nawaz Saha, M. Sadiq A. Pachapuri, M S Sheshgiri College of Engineering and Technology (KLECET), Karnataka, India, NACA
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BIOGRAPHY
Deepanshu Nigam, Student M.Tech Hydropower Engineering, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal,
Completed B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering in 2014. He is currently working on the final phase of M.Tech dissertation.

Dr.T.S.Desmukh, Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal,
specialized in CFD has 26 years of teaching experience in the field of Hydropower, Water resource Engineering and CFD.
During the course of this time she has published and presented research papers in various national and international level
journals and conferences. She is a member of ISTE and various other professional bodies.