Journal article

Large-eddy simulation of a very large wind farm in a stable atmospheric boundary layer

When deployed as large arrays, wind turbines significantly interact among themselves and with the atmospheric boundary layer. In this study, we integrate a three-dimensional large-eddy simulation with an actuator line technique to examine the characteristics of wind-turbine wakes in an idealized wind farm inside a stable boundary layer (SBL). The wind turbines, with a rotor diameter of 112 m and a tower height of 119 m, were "immersed" in a well-known SBL case that bears a boundary layer height of approximately 175 m. Two typical spacing setups were adopted in this investigation. The super-geostrophic low-level jet near the top of the boundary layer was eliminated owing to the energy extraction and the enhanced mixing of momentum. Non-axisymmetric wind-turbine wakes were observed in response to the non-uniform incoming turbulence, the Coriolis effect, and the rotational effects induced by blade motion. The Coriolis force caused a skewed spatial structure and drove a part of the turbulence energy away from the center of the wake. The SBL height was increased, while the magnitude of the surface momentum flux was reduced by more than 30%, and the magnitude of the surface buoyancy flux was reduced by more than 15%. The wind farm was also found to have a strong effect on vertical turbulent fluxes of momentum and heat, an outcome that highlights the potential impact of wind farms on local meteorology. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi: 10.1063/1.3589857]


Related material