On the Parallelization of a Harmonic Balance Compressible Navier-Stokes Solver for Wind Turbine Aerodynamics

Adrian Jackson, M. Sergio Campobasso, Mohammad Baba-Ahmad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The paper discusses the parallelization of a novel explicit harmonic balance Navier-Stokes solver for wind turbine unsteady aerodynamics. For large three-dimensional problems, the use of a standard MPI parallelization based on the geomet ric domain decomposition of the physical domain may require an excessive degree of partitioning with respect to that needed when the same aerodynamic analysis is performed with the time-domain solver. This occurrence may penalize the parallel efficiency of the harmonic balance solver due to excessive communication among MPI processes to transfer halo data. In the caseof the harmonic balance analysis, the necessity of further grid
partitioning may arise because the memory requirement of each block is higher than for the time-domain analysis: it is that of the time-domain analysis multiplied by a variable proportional to the number of complex harmonics used to represent the sought periodic flow field. A hybrid multi-level parallelization paradigm for explicit harmonic balance Navier-Stokes solvers is presented, which makes use of both distributed and shared memory parallelization technologies, and removes the need for further domain decomposition with respect to the case of the time-domain an
alysis. The discussed parallelization approaches are tested on the multigrid harmonic balance solver being developed by the authors, considering various computational configurations for the CFD analysis of the unsteady flow field past the airfoil of a wind tubine blade in yawed wind
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2011 Turbo Expo: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: Aircraft Engine; Ceramics; Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Wind Turbine Technology
Pages 747
Number of pages761
ISBN (Print)978-0-7918-5461-7
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Aerodynamics
  • Wind Turbines


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