Title: Evaluation of RANS/actuator disk modelling of wind turbine wake flow using wind tunnel measurements

Authors: Jonathon Sumner; Guillaume Espana; Christian Masson; Sandrine Aubrun

Addresses: Physics Department, Dawson College, 3040 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, Quebec, H3Z 1A4, Canada ' Laboratoire PRISME, Université d'Orléans, 8, Rue Léonard de Vinci, F-45072 Orléans Cedex 2, France ' Département de Genie Mécanique, École de Technologie Supérieure, 1100, Rue Notre-Dame Ouest Montréal, Québec, H3C 1K3, Canada ' Laboratoire PRISME, Université d'Orléans, 8, Rue Léonard de Vinci, F-45072 Orléans Cedex 2, France

Abstract: Wake modelling plays a central role in wind farm planning through the evaluation of losses, the prediction of the energy yield, and the estimation of turbine loads. These models must be reasonably accurate - to minimise financial risk - and yet economical so that many configurations can be tested within reasonable time. While many such models have been proposed, an especially attractive approach is based on the solution of the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations with two-equation turbulence closure and an actuator disk representation of the rotor. The validity of this approach and its inherent limitations however remain to be fully understood. To this end, detailed wind tunnel measurements in the wake of a porous disk (with similar aerodynamic properties as a turbine rotor) immersed in a uniform flow are compared with the predictions of several closures. Agreement with measurements is found to be excellent for all models. This unexpected result seems to derive from a fundamental difference in the turbulent nature of the homogeneous wind tunnel flow and that of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Keywords: wind turbine wake; turbulence modelling; RANS; actuator disk modelling; wind tunnel measurements; computational fluid dynamics; CFD; actuator disks; wind farm planning; wind farms; wind energy; wind power; aerodynamics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESMS.2013.052382

International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation, 2013 Vol.5 No.1/2/3, pp.147 - 158

Available online: 21 Feb 2013 *

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