PhD: Stall-induced vibration and vortex-induced vibration of large-scale wind turbines

Updated: 24 days ago
Deadline: 12 Mar 2021

High wind sites are favourable for wind turbines/farms to maximize the power production. However, the maximal allowable wind velocity window for installation lies within 8-12 m/s due to the limitations of the state-of-the-art lifting equipment. This means that in many cases the expensive installation equipment needs to wait for the wind to decrease, which results in huge cost. The typical cost of waiting for a lower wind speed window of a middle-sized European offshore wind farm is estimated around 15 million euros. In wind turbine design, the load case of parked condition at 50-year extreme wind speed with yaw controller failure are often design-driving.

To model a parked wind turbine or a wind turbine during installation demands a full range of angle of attack with a large range of yaw angle. Consequently, the aerodynamics of wind turbines at standstill or during installation is complicated by stall-induced vibration (SIV) and vortex-induced vibration (VIV) phenomena. The state-of-the-art dynamic stall models and yaw models are questionable for these conditions. The Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory  based method are proved inaccurate at these conditions.

The research aims at understanding the flow physics of SIV and VIV of wind turbines at standstill or during installation at the scales of 2D airfoil, 3D blade and rotor in order to improve the current design tool with engineering models for SIV and VIV prediction of large-scale wind turbines. It will mainly employ the aeroelastic measurements at the wind tunnel facilities at TUDelft, while combining analytical modelling and vortex and aeroelastic modelling.

The candidate should have an MSc degree in Fluid dynamics from a well-established university, or an MSc degree in related engineering disciplines such as applied physics, applied mathematics, or mechanical engineering with a proven experience (courses, projects, work experience) in the field of fluid dynamics. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and a strong interest in experimental aerodynamics is required. Experience with experimental techniques in fluid dynamics is preferred. Proven experience with such experiments and related data processing is advantageous for this position. Since an important part of research work is dissemination and collaboration, fluent communication skills, both written and orally, in English are of utmost importance. Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply.     

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct ). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large offshore farms, are the objective of the research of the Wind Energy Section. The department operates comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems.

The Wind Energy Section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education.

In its research activities there is a focus on large multi megawatt offshore wind turbines and offshore wind farms, though urban and airborne wind power is also addressed. Both technology development aspects as well as fundamental aspects are present in the research program. With respect to educational courses, the BSc and MSc level are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM) students.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Wei Yu, w.yu@tudelft.nl

EnergyDelft

Please submit a single pdf file that includes application letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees, copies of BSc and MSc diplomas, proof of language skills if applicable, and the names of two references.

If your MSc diploma and transcript are not in Dutch, English, French or German and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.    

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.


High wind sites are favourable for wind turbines/farms to maximize the power production. However, the maximal allowable wind velocity window for installation lies within 8-12 m/s due to the limitations of the state-of-the-art lifting equipment. This means that in many cases the expensive installation equipment needs to wait for the wind to decrease, which results in huge cost. The typical cost of waiting for a lower wind speed window of a middle-sized European offshore wind farm is estimated around 15 million euros. In wind turbine design, the load case of parked condition at 50-year extreme wind speed with yaw controller failure are often design-driving.

To model a parked wind turbine or a wind turbine during installation demands a full range of angle of attack with a large range of yaw angle. Consequently, the aerodynamics of wind turbines at standstill or during installation is complicated by stall-induced vibration (SIV) and vortex-induced vibration (VIV) phenomena. The state-of-the-art dynamic stall models and yaw models are questionable for these conditions. The Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory  based method are proved inaccurate at these conditions.

The research aims at understanding the flow physics of SIV and VIV of wind turbines at standstill or during installation at the scales of 2D airfoil, 3D blade and rotor in order to improve the current design tool with engineering models for SIV and VIV prediction of large-scale wind turbines. It will mainly employ the aeroelastic measurements at the wind tunnel facilities at TUDelft, while combining analytical modelling and vortex and aeroelastic modelling.

The candidate should have an MSc degree in Fluid dynamics from a well-established university, or an MSc degree in related engineering disciplines such as applied physics, applied mathematics, or mechanical engineering with a proven experience (courses, projects, work experience) in the field of fluid dynamics. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and a strong interest in experimental aerodynamics is required. Experience with experimental techniques in fluid dynamics is preferred. Proven experience with such experiments and related data processing is advantageous for this position. Since an important part of research work is dissemination and collaboration, fluent communication skills, both written and orally, in English are of utmost importance. Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply.     

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct ). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large offshore farms, are the objective of the research of the Wind Energy Section. The department operates comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems.

The Wind Energy Section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education.

In its research activities there is a focus on large multi megawatt offshore wind turbines and offshore wind farms, though urban and airborne wind power is also addressed. Both technology development aspects as well as fundamental aspects are present in the research program. With respect to educational courses, the BSc and MSc level are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM) students.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Wei Yu, w.yu@tudelft.nl

EnergyDelft

Please submit a single pdf file that includes application letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees, copies of BSc and MSc diplomas, proof of language skills if applicable, and the names of two references.

If your MSc diploma and transcript are not in Dutch, English, French or German and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.    

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.


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