The Actuator Disk (AD) model is widely used in Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) to simulate wind turbine wakes because of its computing efficiency. The capability of the AD model in predicting time-average quantities of wind tunnel-scale turbines has been assessed extensively in the literature. However, its capability in predicting wakes of utility-scale wind turbines especially for the coherent flow structures is not clear yet. In this work, we take the time-averaged statistics and Dynamic Mode Decomposition (DMD) modes computed from a well-validated Actuator Surface (AS) model as references to evaluate the capability of the AD model in predicting the wake of a 2.5 MW utility-scale wind turbine for uniform inflow and fully developed turbulent inflow conditions. For the uniform inflow cases, the predictions from the AD model are significantly different from those from the AS model for the time-averaged velocity, and the turbulence kinetic energy until nine rotor diameters (D
) downstream of the turbine. For the turbulent inflow cases, on the other hand, the differences in the time-averaged quantities predicted by the AS and AD models are not significant especially at far wake locations. As for DMD modes, significant differences are observed in terms of dominant frequencies and DMD patterns for both inflows. Moreover, the effects of incoming large eddies, bluff body shear layer instability, and hub vortexes on the coherent flow structures are discussed in this paper.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited