We present computational flow analysis of a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) that has been proposed to also serve as a tsunami shelter. In addition to the three-blade rotor, the turbine has four support columns at the periphery. The columns support the turbine rotor and the shelter. Computational challenges encountered in flow analysis of wind turbines in general include accurate representation of the turbine geometry, multiscale unsteady flow, and moving-boundary flow associated with the rotor motion. The tsunami-shelter VAWT, because of its rather high geometric complexity, poses the additional challenge of reaching high accuracy in turbine-geometry representation and flow solution when the geometry is so complex. We address the challenges with a space–time (ST) computational method that integrates three special ST methods around the core, ST Variational Multiscale (ST-VMS) method, and mesh generation and improvement methods. The three special methods are the ST Slip Interface (ST-SI) method, ST Isogeometric Analysis (ST-IGA), and the ST/NURBS Mesh Update Method (STNMUM). The ST-discretization feature of the integrated method provides higher-order accuracy compared to standard discretization methods. The VMS feature addresses the computational challenges associated with the multiscale nature of the unsteady flow. The moving-mesh feature of the ST framework enables high-resolution computation near the blades. The ST-SI enables moving-mesh computation of the spinning rotor. The mesh covering the rotor spins with it, and the SI between the spinning mesh and the rest of the mesh accurately connects the two sides of the solution. The ST-IGA enables more accurate representation of the blade and other turbine geometries and increased accuracy in the flow solution. The STNMUM enables exact representation of the mesh rotation. A general-purpose NURBS mesh generation method makes it easier to deal with the complex turbine geometry. The quality of the mesh generated with this method is improved with a mesh relaxation method based on fiber-reinforced hyperelasticity and optimized zero-stress state. We present computations for the 2D and 3D cases. The computations show the effectiveness of our ST and mesh generation and relaxation methods in flow analysis of the tsunami-shelter VAWT.
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