Development of a Wind Plant Large-Eddy Simulation with Measurement-Driven Atmospheric Inflow


This presentation details the development of an aeroelastic wind plant model with large-eddy simulation (LES) aerodynamics. The chosen LES solver is the Simulator for Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) based on the OpenFOAM framework, coupled to NREL’s comprehensive aeroelastic analysis tool, FAST. An atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) precursor simulation was constructed based on assessments of available meteorological tower and radar data—sourced from an operational wind plant—over a 3-hour window occurring 2 hours after sunrise. The precursor was tuned to the specific atmospheric conditions that occurred both prior to and during the measurement campaign, enabling capture of a night-to-day transition in the turbulent ABL. Challenges encountered during development of the precursor highlight more general difficulties in synthesizing weather-scale and wind plant-scale data. In the absence of height-varying temperature measurements, spatially averaged radar data were sufficient in this case to characterize the atmospheric stability of the wind plant in terms of the shear profile, and near-ground temperature sensors provided a reasonable estimate of the ground heating rate describing the morning transition. A full aeroelastic simulation was then performed for a subset of turbines within the wind plant, driven by the precursor. Analysis of two turbines within the array, one directly waked by the other, demonstrated good agreement with measured time-averaged loads.

Feb 28, 2017 3:30 PM — 4:30 PM
Bechtel Collaboratory, Discovery Learning Center
Engineering Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309

National Renewable Energy Laboratory