Airfoil data sensitivity analysis for actuator disc simulations used in wind turbine applications

Karl Nilsson, Simon-Philippe Breton, Jens Nørkær Sørensen, Stefan Ivanell

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To analyse the sensitivity of blade geometry and airfoil characteristics on the prediction of performance characteristics of wind farms, large-eddy simulations using an actuator disc (ACD) method are performed for three different blade/airfoil configurations. The aim of the study is to determine how the mean characteristics of wake flow, mean power production and thrust depend on the choice of airfoil data and blade geometry. In order to simulate realistic conditions, pre-generated turbulence and wind shear are imposed in the computational domain. Using three different turbulence intensities and varying the spacing between the turbines, the flow around 4-8 aligned turbines is simulated. The analysis is based on normalized mean streamwise velocity, turbulence intensity, relative mean power production and thrust. From the computations it can be concluded that the actual airfoil characteristics and blade geometry only are of importance at very low inflow turbulence. At realistic turbulence conditions for an atmospheric boundary layer the specific blade characteristics play an minor role on power performance and the resulting wake characteristics. The results therefore give a hint that the choice of airfoil data in ACD simulations is not crucial if the intention of the simulations is to compute mean wake characteristics using a turbulent inflow.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012135
Book seriesJournal of Physics: Conference Series (Online)
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th International Conference on The Science of Making Torque from Wind 2014 - Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 10 Jun 201420 Jun 2014
Conference number: 5


Conference5th International Conference on The Science of Making Torque from Wind 2014
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
Internet address

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