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Large eddy simulation of dynamically controlled wind turbines in an offshore environment


Correspondence: J. E. Cater, Department of Engineering Science, The University of Auckland, 70 Symonds St, Grafton, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.



Accurate modelling of transient wind turbine wakes is an important component in the siting of turbines within wind farms because of wake structures that affect downwind turbine performance and loading. Many current industry tools for modelling these effects are limited to empirically derived predictions. A technique is described for coupling transient wind modelling with an aero-elastic simulation to dynamically model both turbine operation and wake structures. The important feature of this approach is a turbine model in a flow simulation, which actively responds to transient wind events through the inclusion of controller actions such as blade pitching and regulation of generator torque. The coupled nature of the aero-elastic/flow simulation also allows recording of load and control data, which permits the analysis of turbine interaction in multiple turbine systems. An aero-elastic turbine simulation code and a large eddy simulation (LES) solver using an actuator disc model were adapted for this work. Coupling of the codes was implemented with the use of a software framework to transfer data between simulations in a synchronous manner. A computationally efficient simulation was developed with the ability to model turbines exhibiting standard baseline control operating in an offshore environment. Single and multiple wind turbine instances were modelled in a transient flow domain to investigate wake structures and wake interaction effects. Blade loading data were analysed to quantify the increased fluctuating loads on downwind turbines. The results demonstrate the successful implementation of the coupled simulation and quantify the effect of the dynamic-turbine model. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.