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Qblade

The meaning of «qblade»

QBlade is an open-source, cross-platform simulation software for wind turbine blade design and aerodynamic simulation.[1] It comes with a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) based on Qt.

QBlade is an open-source wind turbine calculation software, distributed under the GNU General Public License. The software is seamlessly integrated into XFOIL, an airfoil design and analysis tool. The purpose of this software is the design and aerodynamic simulation of wind turbine blades. The integration in XFOIL allows for the user to rapidly design custom airfoils and compute their performance curves, Extrapolating the performance data to a range of 360°Angle of attack, and directly integrate them into a wind turbine rotor simulation. The integration of QBlade into XFLR's sophisticated graphical user interface makes this software accessible to a large potential user community.

QBlade is especially adequate for teaching, as it provides a ’hands-on’ feeling for HAWT rotor design and shows all the fundamental relationships between blade twist, blade chord, section airfoil performance, turbine control, power and load curves in an easy and intuitive way. QBlade also includes post processing of conducted rotor simulations and gives deep insight into all relevant blade and rotor variables.

QBlade's development started in 2009 as a small part of the PhD work of G. Pechlivanoglou at the Hermann Föttinger Institute of TU Berlin. The initial development was done by D. Marten, at the time an undergraduate student of Physical Engineering. Prof. C.O. Paschereit, head of the Hermann Föttinger Institute was a strong proponent of the idea to release QBlade under GPL and thus the software was quickly hosted on the official site of the institute. The 1st online version was received with positive remarks which led to the continuation of the development. G. Weinzierl, undergraduate student at the time initiated the development of an integrated turbulent wind field generator, while J. Wendler under the supervision of D. Marten developed the VAWT module as well as the Viterna 360° extrapolation module. M. Lennie, performed the development of a structural Euler-Bernoulli beam module (QFEM). N. Moesus further developed and integrated the code of G. Weinzierl and M. Lennie in the QBlade code. Furthermore, he initiated the integration of a fully developed (GUI) for the aeroelastic code FAST inside QBlade. The completion of the integration of all the aforementioned modules in QBlade is handled by J.Wendler, N. Moesus and D. Marten and the updated version (v0.8) of the software was released on the 9th of May 2014.

An updated stable version was released in August 2015. This included a new aerodynamic module which replaced the BEM of QBlade with a new advanced Lifting Line Theory (LLT) module. Furthermore, a Free Wake Vortex model was implemented for the accurate representation of the near and far wake of the turbine. The entire development of this version was undertaken by D. Marten.

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