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Unraveling the Mysteries of Turbulence Transport in a Wind Farm

Department of Aerospace Engineering, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Applied Research Group, Intelligent Light, Rutherford, NJ 07070, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Frede Blaabjerg
Energies 2015, 8(7), 6468-6496;
Received: 24 April 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Turbine 2015)
PDF [5201 KB, uploaded 26 June 2015]


A true physical understanding of the mysteries involved in the recovery process of the wake momentum deficit, downstream of utility-scale wind turbines in the atmosphere, has not been obtained to date. Field data are not acquired at sufficient spatial and temporal resolutions to dissect some of the mysteries of wake turbulence. It is here that the actuator line method has evolved to become the technology standard in the wind energy community. This work presents the actuator line method embedded into an Open source Field Operation and Manipulation (OpenFOAM) large-eddy simulation solver and applies it to two small wind farms, the first one consisting of an array of two National Renewable Energy Laboratory 5 Megawatt (NREL 5-MW) turbines separated by seven rotor diameters in neutral and unstable atmospheric boundary-layer flow and the second one consisting of five NREL 5-MW wind turbines in unstable atmospheric conditions arranged in two staggered arrays of two and three turbines, respectively. Detailed statistics involving power spectral density (PSD) of turbine power along with standard deviations reveal the effects of atmospheric turbulence and its space and time scales. High-resolution surface data extracts provide new insight into the complex recovery process of the wake momentum deficit governed by turbulence transport phenomena. View Full-Text
Keywords: wake turbulence; wake recovery; turbulence transport; actuator line method; large-eddy simulation wake turbulence; wake recovery; turbulence transport; actuator line method; large-eddy simulation

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Jha, P.K.; Duque, E.P.N.; Bashioum, J.L.; Schmitz, S. Unraveling the Mysteries of Turbulence Transport in a Wind Farm. Energies 2015, 8, 6468-6496.

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