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Zenotech and University of Bristol collaboration: Sustainability and CFD at the SciTech Conference  – Zenotech Ltd
Zenotech and University of Bristol collaboration: Sustainability and CFD at the SciTech Conference 

Zenotech and University of Bristol collaboration: Sustainability and CFD at the SciTech Conference 

In collaboration with the University of Bristol, the Zenotech team is looking forward to presenting at the AIAA SciTech conference about how our product, zCFD, can improve the efficiency of renewable energy through the design and simulation of large-scale offshore wind turbines.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference will take place from 3 to 7 January 2022 in San Diego and online. The AIAA SciTech Forum is the world’s largest event for aerospace research, development, and technology. The 2022 conference brings together high-profile panelists and thought leaders to discuss a range of topics from the highly theoretical to the applied with a focus on sustainability.

original wind turbine blade

Original Blade Cage

With the University of Bristol, Zenotech’s zCFD tool features in two papers: 

–        GPU-accelerated aerodynamic shape optimisation of IEA 15MW turbine blade

  An Initial Study of Multimodality in Wind Farm Layout Optimization Problems

Together, these papers set out our research target of performing multi-turbine optimisations under unsteady flow conditions.

The significant impact of our research industrially is demonstrating how GPU accelerated CFD codes can be integrated into the design process of wind turbines, allowing engineers to make more informed design decisions. 

Oscillations

Oscillations

The first paper focuses on utilising the GPU accelerated CFD performance of zCFD to facilitate the rapid development of a surrogate model for optimising. This surrogate model can then be used alongside advanced shape parameterisation schemes and optimisation algorithms developed by the Fluids and Aerodynamics Research Group at the University of Bristol to identify novel and otherwise non-intuitive design improvements to turbine blades. In this case, we specifically examine the drag tangential to the rotor axis, which would enable turbines to harvest more power as they ramp up speed.

The second paper is a continuation of a Masters’ PhD thesis by Ben Allen, with significant contributions made by final year student Lewis Cameron on the use of zCFD to validate lower fidelity optimisation results for wind farm layouts. Here many layouts of tightly packed farms have been simulated while attached to an advanced optimisation algorithm designed to find multiple optimal layouts within a fixed design space. The actuator disk model within zCFD has been used in this paper to provide high fidelity verification of the performance of the final layouts.

Find out more about the event programme here.

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