Understanding the Effects of a Ducted Winglet on Wake and Induced Drag Using CFD

  • Vincalek, Jakub (Swansea University)
  • Walton, Sean (Swansea University)
  • Evans, Ben (Swansea University)

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A patented ducted winglet originally designed for airplane wingtips is modified for use on the NREL 15 MW wind turbine. To assess the performance of the ducted winglet, a standard non-ducted winglet and an unmodified wing tip using FLITE3D, an in-house RANS CFD solver which has been extensively used and validated on large-scale aerodynamic projects. CFD in this work is used to rank the three geometries according to their aerodynamic properties at angles of attack ranging from 1 to 8. A comparison of the lift-to-drag ratio of the three geometries is used to determine which variation maintains sufficient lift while reducing drag. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a study has been conducted on the ducted winglet comparing it to a standard winglet and an unmodified blade in the context of wind turbines.