Wind Turbine CFD

Accurate prediction of the wind turbine wake is important for the performance analysis of the turbine as well as the optimal positioning of wind turbines within tightly-spaced wind farms. In this work CFD is used to explore the breakdown of the wake downstream of the blades and assess the capability of CFD in predicting the correct physical mechanism of the breakdown.


The solver has so far been validated for several cases including the NREL Annex XX experiments as well as the pressure and PIV data of the MEXICO project.


Recent Results

The wake is resolved on a fine mesh able to capture the vortices up to 8 radii downstream the blades. At a wind speed of 15m/s, the main frequency is the blade rotation (21. 4Hz) and is present in the CFD signals for up to 4 radii downstream the rotor plane, where the vortex cores fall on a perfect spiral. Between 4 and 5 radii downstream, a sinusoidal behaviour is observed, due to a higher frequency content, which indicates the onset of instabilities. This instability results in vortex pairing, and can be observed in the vorticity contours.

MEXICO Wake Lambda2 contour W=15m/s

MEXICO Wake Lambda2 contour W=15m/s


G. Barakos - Professor,
R. Steijl - Senior Lecturer,
M Carrion - Dr,