Wind turbine parameterizations implemented in WRF mesoscale-LES nested simulations

Monday, 15 December 2014
Nikola Marjanovic, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States, Jeffrey D Mirocha, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, Livermore, CA, United States and Fotini K Chow, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
Atmospheric simulations can be used to predict wind energy production at increasingly higher resolutions, which can better capture boundary layer processes and topography. Wind turbine performance depends on several different factors including local topography, weather conditions, and turbine spacing. In this work, we implement and examine the performance of a generalized actuator disk model (GAD) and a generalized actuator line model (GAL) in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, a mesoscale atmospheric model. The wind turbine parameterizations are designed for turbulence-resolving simulations, and are used within downscaled large-eddy simulations (LES) forced with mesoscale simulations and WRF’s grid nesting capability. The GAD represents the effects of thrust and torque created by a wind turbine on the atmosphere within a disk representing the rotor swept area. The forces applied by the turbine blades on the atmosphere are parameterized using blade-element theory and the aerodynamic properties of the blades. The GAL tracks the location of the individual turbine blades and applies thrust and tangential forces at the temporal location of each blade instead of distributing the total force of all the blades over the actuator disk like the GAD does. This should in theory increase fidelity but carries higher computational cost (~10 m for GAD vs. ~1 m resolution for GAL). Both GAD and GAL models include real-time yaw and pitch control to respond realistically to changing flow conditions. Comparisons are also made to help determine the importance of turbine blade tilt away from the tower and the inclusion of the tower and turbine hub drag effects. Our implementations are designed to permit simulation of turbine wake effects and turbine/airflow interactions within a realistic atmospheric boundary layer flow field, including resolved turbulence, time-evolving mesoscale forcing, and real topography.

This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. IM release number: LLNL-ABS-658480.