A simple improvement of a tip loss model for actuator disc simulations

Georg Raimund Pirrung*, Maarten Paul van der Laan, Néstor Ramos‐García, Alexander Raul Meyer Forsting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The loading of a wind turbine decreases towards the blade tip because of the velocities induced by the tip vortex. This tip loss effect has to be taken into account when performing actuator disc simulations, where the single blades of the turbine are not modeled. A widely used method applies a factor on the axial and tangential loading of the turbine. This factor decreases when approaching the blade tip. It has been shown that the factor should be different for the axial and tangential loading of the turbine to model the rotation of the resulting force vector at the air foil sections caused by the induced velocity. The present article contains the derivation of a simple correction for the tangential load factor that takes this rotation into account. The correctiondoes not need any additional curve fitting but just depends on the local air foil characteristics and angle of attack. Actuator disc computations with the modified tip loss correction show improved agreement with results from actuator line, free wake lifting line, and blade element momentum simulations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1154-1163
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Actuator disc
  • CFD
  • Rotor aerodynamics
  • Tip loss

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