Synthetic atmospheric turbulence and wind shear in large eddy simulations of wind turbine wakes

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A method of generating a synthetic ambient wind field in neutral atmosphere is described and verified for modelling the effect of wind shear and turbulence on a wind turbine wake using the flow solver EllipSys3D. The method uses distributed volume forces to represent turbulent fluctuations, superimposed on top of a mean deterministic shear layer consistent with that used in the IEC standard for wind turbine load calculations.
First, the method is evaluated by running a series of large-eddy simulations in an empty domain, where the imposed turbulence and wind shear is allowed to reach a fully developed stage in the domain. The performance of the method is verified by comparing the turbulence intensity and spectral distribution of the turbulent energy to the spectral distribution of turbulence generated by the IEC suggested Mann model.
Second, the synthetic turbulence and wind shear is used as input for simulations with a wind turbine, represented by an actuator line model, to evaluate the development of turbulence in a wind turbine wake. The resulting turbulence intensity and spectral distribution, as well as the meandering of the wake, are compared to field data. Overall, the performance of the synthetic methods is found to be adequate to model atmospheric turbulence, and the wake flow results of the model are in good agreement with field data. An investigation is also carried out to estimate the wake transport velocity, used to model wake meandering in lower-order models. The conclusion is that the appropriate transport velocity of the wake lies somewhere between the centre velocity of the wake deficit and the free stream velocity. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1247–1267
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Synthetic Atmospheric Turbulence
  • Wake modelling
  • Wake turbulence
  • LES
  • Actuator line
  • Wake Meandering
  • Wake transport velocity


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