Thus far, the topic is selected, and the ideas have been formulated. The main idea of the current project is to use PyOpenGL and PyGame to model a wind turbine and generate vortices at the times of the turbine blades. Potential plans for the project include having variable "wind speeds" that modify the speed of the turbine and the size and shape of the vortices. The main objective is to get into the guts of PyOpenGL and figure out how to make everything work
Recently in ME 310, we have broached the topic of vorticity and looking at flow fields. We have very briefly discussed the velocity potential functions, which will hopefully lead into potential flow. Potential flow is the part of fluid dynamics that is used to solve for the shape of vortices and to model the flow of air over airfoils. It is quite exciting to finally be getting into topics that are relevant not only to my research, but to the project for MA 198
On the previous Friday, I handed in the first draft of my final project proposal. I have since receipted that back, and the pdf is now available for viewing with other pertinent files. I did some brainstorming over the weekend and I have a better idea of what I want to do with this project. I also found an excellent tutorial for PyOpenGL and GLUT online, which, coincidentally, appears to be from another class taught by Professor Francis. It was very easy to digest and I now have a good understanding of the functions of OpenGL and GLUT.
Armed with this new knowledge, I was able to create a rough model of a two-dimensional wind turbine. This consists of a rectangular turbine "base," a circular rotor base, and a rectangular turbine blade that rotates about the rotor base. Using OpenGL, the current program can take user input from the keyboard to stop and start the animation, as well as control the dimensions of the turbine blade and the speed of the turbine blade. The modeled turbine itself is pictured below
Over the past week, I have made the decision to change from OpenGL to VPython. My Python skills are not developed enough such that I can create an elegant project by the end of the semester in OpenGL. VPython greatly simplifies the process of creating three dimensional objects and animations, and is a much better fit for my current skill level in computer programming.
With this decision made, I have set forth and created an animation model of the wind turbine, complete with the wake path that the vortices will take. The "Supplemental Materials" link contains a document that outlines the creation process of this file. It details the hiccups that were encountered during the creation process. Below are some of the "failed" attempts to create the wind turbine.
With the Turbine RTICA complete, a "rough draft" of the Forces RTICA has been created. The current state includes a rough model of the turbine blade which can be rotated, along with the keys to control the various parameters that determine the magnitudes of the forces acting on the blade. The model of the blade is still quite rough, however, and I will be looking into the "extrusion" object of VPython to see if that produces better results.
Everything is done! With the final documentation complete and the RTICAs in working order, the project is completed and ready for presentation. The appropriate files and a list of dependencies can be found on the "Pertinent Files" page, along with the final presentation.
This class has been a fun experience, and I hope everyone who visits this web page thinks the stuff I made is as cool as I do. (Only half-kidding)