Simulation of Wind Farms in Flat & Complex terrain using CFD

John Prospathopoulos (Invited author), D. Cabezon (Invited author), E.S. Politis (Invited author), P.K. Chaviaropoulos (Invited author), K.G. Rados (Invited author), J.C. Schepers (Invited author), Kurt Schaldemose Hansen (Invited author), R.J. Barthelmie (Invited author)

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Use of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methods to predict the power production from wind entire wind farms in flat and complex terrain is presented in this paper. Two full 3D Navier–Stokes solvers for incompressible flow are employed that incorporate the k–ε and k–ω turbulence models respectively. The wind turbines (W/Ts) are modelled as momentum absorbers by means of their thrust coefficient using the actuator disk approach. The WT thrust is estimated using the wind speed one diameter upstream of the rotor at hub height. An alternative method that employs an induction-factor based concept is also tested. This method features the advantage of not utilizing the wind speed at a specific distance from the rotor disk, which is a doubtful approximation when a W/T is located in the wake of another and/or the terrain is complex. To account for the underestimation of the near wake deficit, a correction is introduced to the turbulence model. The turbulence time scale is bounded using the general “realizability” constraint for the turbulent velocities. Application is made on two wind farms, a five-machine one located in flat terrain and another 43-machine one located in complex terrain. In the flat terrain case, the combination of the induction factor method along with the turbulence correction provides satisfactory results. In the complex terrain case, there are some significant discrepancies with the measurements, which are discussed. In this case, the induction factor method does not provide satisfactory results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTorque 2010 : The science of making torque from wind
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventTORQUE 2010 - Heraklion, Greece
Duration: 28 Jun 201030 Jun 2010


ConferenceTORQUE 2010


  • Induction factor
  • CFD modelling
  • Turbulence model correction
  • Wind turbine wakes
  • Complex terrain

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