Driven by economics-of-scale factors, wind-turbine rotor sizes have increased formidably in recent years. Larger rotors with lighter blades of increased flexibility will experiment substantially higher levels of deformation. Future turbines will also incorporate advanced control strategies to widen the range of wind velocities over which energy is captured. These factors will extend turbine operational regimes, including flow states with high interference factors. In this paper we derive a new empirical relation to both improve and extend the range of Blade Element Momentum (BEM) models, when applied to high interference-factor regimes. In most BEM models, these flow regimes are modeled using empirical relations derived from experimental data. However, an empirical relation that best represents these flow states is still missing. The new relation presented in this paper is based on data from numerical experiments performed on an actuator disk model, and implemented in the context of a novel model of the BEM family called the DRD-BEM (Dynamic Rotor Deformation—BEM), recently introduced in Ponta, et al., 2016. A detailed description of the numerical experiments is presented, followed by DRD-BEM simulation results for the case of the benchmark NREL-5MW Reference Wind Turbine with this new polynomial curve incorporated.
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