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Evaluation of the effects of turbulence model enhancements on wind turbine wake predictions



The modelling of wind turbine wakes is investigated in this paper using a Navier–Stokes solver employing the k–ω turbulence model appropriately modified for atmospheric flows. It is common knowledge that even single-wind turbine wake predictions with computational fluid dynamic methods underestimate the near wake deficit, directly contributing to the overestimation of the power of the downstream turbines. For a single-wind turbine, alternative modelling enhancements under neutral and stable atmospheric conditions are tested in this paper to account for and eventually correct the turbulence overestimation that is responsible for the faster flow recovery that appears in the numerical predictions. Their effect on the power predictions is evaluated with comparison with existing wake measurements. A second issue addressed in this paper concerns multi-wake predictions in wind farms, where the estimation of the reference wind speed that is required for the thrust calculation of a turbine located in the wake(s) of other turbines is not obvious. This is overcome by utilizing an induction factor-based concept: According to it, the definition of the induction factor and its relationship with the thrust coefficient are employed to provide an average wind speed value across the rotor disk for the estimation of the axial force. Application is made on the case of five wind turbines in a row. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.