A coupled near and far wake model for wind turbine aerodynamics

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In this paper, an aerodynamic model consisting of a lifting line-based trailed vorticity model and a blade element momentum (BEM) model is described. The focus is on the trailed vorticity model, which is based on the near wake model (NWM) by Beddoes and has been extended to include the effects of downwind convection and to enable a faster and more accurate computation of the induction, especially close to the blade root and tip. The NWM is introduced to model the detailed steady and unsteady induction from the first part of the trailed vorticity behind the individual rotor blades. The model adds a radial coupling between the blade sections and provides a computation of tip loss effects that depends on the actual blade geometry and the respective operating point. Moreover, the coupling of the NWM with a BEM theory-based far wake model is presented. To avoid accounting for the near wake induction twice, the induction from the BEM model is reduced by a coupling factor, which is continuously updated during the computation to ensure a good behavior of the model in varying operating conditions. The coupled near and far wake model is compared with a simple prescribed wake lifting line model, a BEM model and full rotor computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to evaluate the steady-state results in different cases. The model is shown to deliver good results across the whole operation range of the NREL 5-MW reference wind turbine.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2053–2069
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Blade element momentum
  • Lifting line
  • Near wake model
  • Rotor aerodynamics

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