Simulation of wind turbine wakes using the actuator line technique

Jens Nørkær Sørensen, Robert Flemming Mikkelsen, Dan S. Henningson, Stefan Ivanell, Sasan Sarmast, Søren Juhl Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The actuator line technique was introduced as a numerical tool to be employed in combination with large eddy simulations to enable the study of wakes and wake interaction in wind farms. The technique is today largely used for studying basic features of wakes as well as for making performance predictions of wind farms. In this paper, we give a short introduction to the wake problem and the actuator line methodology and present a study in which the technique is employed to determine the near-wake properties of wind turbines. The presented results include a comparison of experimental results of the wake characteristics of the flow around a three-bladed model wind turbine, the development of a simple analytical formula for determining the near-wake length behind a wind turbine and a detailed investigation of wake structures based on proper orthogonal decomposition analysis of numerically generated snapshots of the wake.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20140071
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2035
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Wind turbines
  • Wakes
  • Actuator line
  • Large eddy simulation

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