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First Thermal and Fluids Engineering Summer Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748
ISBN: 978-1-56700-430-4

TOWARD SIMULATION OF WIND TURBINE FLOW USING THE ACTUATOR LINE METHOD IN NEK5000

DOI: 10.1615/TFESC1.cmd.012848
pages 505-518

Murphy Leo O'Dea
Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309, USA

Laila Guessous
Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309, USA


KEY WORDS: Wind Turbine Optimization CFD NEK5000 Actuator Line

Abstract

Current large-scale wind turbine installations are sited using layouts based on site topology, real estate costs and restrictions, and turbine power output. Existing optimization programs attempt to site multiple turbines based on simple geometric turbine wake models, which typically overestimate individual turbine output. In addition, advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling of individual turbine wake fields have revealed complex flow patterns and "wake meandering" which have not been taken into account in current optimization and flow field models. CFD models of entire turbine fields have had limited application because of the large computing resources required; limitations of the simplified turbine models used which do not provide high resolution results in the wake field; and limited efforts to adapt the results of complex CFD output to analytical models which can be incorporated into wind turbine siting optimization routines. In this paper, we report preliminary results from our ongoing efforts to simulate flow past wind turbines by developing and advancing the use of an improved Actuator Line (AL) turbine blade model, and the advanced parallel CFD code, NEK5000, with the long term goal of improving wake models for optimization studies. NEK5000 is an advanced Navier Stokes code which uses spectral methods for the spatial discretization, and has been proven to provide high-resolution results with significantly reduced computing resources. The actuator line method is selected to provide the required resolution to model individual turbine rotors. Current work includes development of the actuator line model and preliminary CFD runs using NEK5000, with results for a single wind turbine.

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