Simulations of an Offshore Wind Farm Using Large-Eddy Simulation and a Torque-Controlled Actuator Disc Model

Angus C.W. Creech, Wolf-Gerrit Fruh, A Eoghan Maguire

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Abstract We present here a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of Lillgrund offshore wind farm, which is located in the Øresund Strait between Sweden and Denmark. The simulation combines a dynamic representation of wind turbines embedded within a large-eddy simulation CFD solver and uses hr-adaptive meshing to increase or decrease mesh resolution where required. This allows the resolution of both large-scale flow structures around the wind farm, and the local flow conditions at individual turbines; consequently, the response of each turbine to local conditions can be modelled, as well as the resulting evolution of the turbine wakes. This paper provides a detailed description of the turbine model which simulates the interaction between the wind, the turbine rotors, and the turbine generators by calculating the forces on the rotor, the body forces on the air, and instantaneous power output. This model was used to investigate a selection of key wind speeds and directions, investigating cases where a row of turbines would be fully aligned with the wind or at specific angles to the wind. Results shown here include presentations of the spin-up of turbines, the observation of eddies moving through the turbine array, meandering turbine wakes, and an extensive wind farm wake several kilometres in length. The key measurement available for cross-validation with operational wind farm data is the power output from the individual turbines, where the effect of unsteady turbine wakes on the performance of downstream turbines was a main point of interest. The results from the simulations were compared to the performance measurements from the real wind farm to provide a firm quantitative validation of this methodology. Having achieved good agree- ment between the model results and actual wind farm measurements, the potential of the methodology to provide a tool for further investigations of engineering and atmospheric science problems is outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427 - 481
Number of pages55
JournalSurveys in Geophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2015


  • Wind farm modelling
  • Wake effects
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Large-eddy simulation
  • Synthetic-eddy method


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