Wind turbine wake interactions at field scale: An les study of the SWiFT facility

Xiaolei Yang, Aaron Boomsma, Matthew Barone, Fotis Sotiropoulos

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9 Scopus citations


The University of Minnesota Virtual Wind Simulator (VWiS) code is employed to simulate turbine/atmosphere interactions in the Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility developed by Sandia National Laboratories in Lubbock, TX, USA. The facility presently consists of three turbines and the simulations consider the case of wind blowing from South such that two turbines are in the free stream and the third turbine in the direct wake of one upstream turbine with separation of 5 rotor diameters. Large-eddy simulation (LES) on two successively finer grids is carried out to examine the sensitivity of the computed solutions to grid refinement. It is found that the details of the break-up of the tip vortices into small-scale turbulence structures can only be resolved on the finer grid. It is also shown that the power coefficient CP of the downwind turbine predicted on the coarse grid is somewhat higher than that obtained on the fine mesh. On the other hand, the rms (root-mean-square) of the CP fluctuations are nearly the same on both grids, although more small-scale turbulence structures are resolved upwind of the downwind turbine on the finer grid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012139
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Event5th Science of Making Torque from Wind Conference, TORQUE 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Jun 18 2014Jun 20 2014


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