Numerical simulation help design and optimise the performance of turbines in a variety of applications, including onshore and offshore wind, hydroelectricity, tidal energy converters and gas turbines. These simulations can examine individual components such as blades in a gas turbine, or be full system overviews where the hydrodynamics lift on the blades of a tidal turbine are integrated with the drivetrain dynamics and structural dynamics of the support structures to identify fatigue failure risk. Turbines by their nature are multicomponent devices often affected by the different physical processes such as electromagnetics, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and thermal diffusion. Simulating their behaviour often therefore requires a multiphysics approach. Xi also provide onsite measurement which can be used to validate and give confidence to our simulations.
Xi use multibody dynamics to efficiently model drivetrains in turbines. The multibody dynamics approach allows the simulation of mixed systems of flexible and rigid bodies, where each body may be the subject of large rotational or translational displacements. In cases where the drivetrain design is locked and the support structures are designed, a simulation approximating the drivetrain with a beam rotor approach can be used to rapidly optimise the support and isolation elements. In situations where the rotational velocity is high, such as in gas turbines, the centrifugal forces can change the effective stiffness of blade; a modelling approach can be used to determine the corollary change in the resonant frequency of blades and avoid frequency matching and failure. Xi also provide models of the effect of thermal stresses on turbine components.