Coupled PD-DEM approach for modelling leading edge erosion of wind turbine blades due to solid particles impingement

  • Walayat, Khuram (University of Edinburgh)
  • Haeri, Sina (University of Edinburgh)

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The expanding advancements in wind turbine technology, combined with an uncertain operating conditions, present significant challenges relating to erosion issues on the leading edge of the blades. This paper provides a novel methodology for particle impact modelling that combines peridynamics (PD) with discrete element method (DEM). The impactor particle is described using DEM, whereas the wind turbine blade is represented by bond-based PD particles. The coupled PD-DEM combines the distinct strengths of PD and DEM, which allow for the generation and adjustment of appropriate contact forces in both the normal and tangential directions. This hybrid PD-DEM model benefits from several theoretically sound DEM contact laws that have been rigorously tested for a range of materials and impact conditions. The DEM contact models can provide the appropriate contact forces, damping effects, and intra-particle stiffness by adjusting the contact parameters. The Hertzian contact law and Mindlin's stick-slip friction model governs the force and displacement relations in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. By executing normal and oblique hits on the target material without allowing failure, the present contact algorithm is validated for contact parameters such as maximum penetration, rebound velocity, contact time, and force of response. Once the proposed technique for the contact parameters during the impact event is verified, failure analysis is performed by simulating the motion of a rigid sand particle and its impact on the surface to predict the damage patterns along with subsequent material removal. After the analysis of the contact damage results and literature findings, it is observed that the present results correlates well with corresponding FEM and experimental results. This verified model opens up a new avenue to investigate the complex particle impact event and resulting surface erosion and material loss. Here we successfully used the current methodology to model and study the erosion caused by an impinging sand particle at the leading edge of a wind turbine blade. Figure 1 shows a peridynamics damage prediction in a section of blade’s leading edge due to a sand particle impact.