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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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A model for computing vertical-axis wind turbine farms was developed using computational fluid dynamics open-source software. This model has the potential of evaluating wind farm configurations which can lead to a higher annual energy yield. Such configurations have not been studied thoroughly due to the fact that most analysis tools are computational expensive, this model can be run in personal computers within a matter of minutes or hours depending on the number of turbines.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-38
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-38

  10 May 2021

10 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Vertical-axis wind-turbine computations using a 2D hybrid wake actuator-cylinder model

Edgar Alejandro Martinez-Ojeda1, Francisco Javier Solorio Ordaz1, and Mihir Sen2 Edgar Alejandro Martinez-Ojeda et al.
  • 1Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México CDMX, 04510, MÉXICO
  • 2Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA

Abstract. The actuator-cylinder model was implemented in OpenFOAM by virtue of source terms in the Navier-Stokes equations. Since the stand-alone actuator cylinder is not able to properly model the wake of a vertical-axis wind turbine, the steady incompressible flow solver SimpleFoam provided by OpenFOAM was used to resolve the entire flow and wakes of the turbines. The source terms are only applied inside a certain region of the computational domain, namely a finite thickness cylinder which represents the flight path of the blades. One of the major advantages of this approach is its implicitness, that is, the velocities inside the hollow cylinder region feed the actuator-cylinder model, this in turn computes the volumetric forces and passes them to the OpenFOAM solver in order to be applied inside the hollow cylinder region. The process is repeated in each iteration of the solver until convergence is achieved. The hybrid RANS actuator-cylinder can be used to model a wind farm since a turbine is now able to take into account the effect of other wakes. The model was compared against numerical and experimental works, wake deficits and power coefficients are used in order to assess the validity of the model. Overall, there is a good agreement of the pattern of the power coefficients according to the positions of the turbines in the array. Wake patterns are also similar at certain distances downwind. The actual accuracy of the power coefficient depends strongly on the solidity of the turbine (actuator-cylinder related) and the inlet boundary turbulence intensity (RANS simulation related); a heuristic approach to correct the results of high-solidity turbines is presented for the case of a wind farm made of small-scale turbines. Thus this method can be used to quickly compute the power coefficients of low-solidity vertical-axis wind farms.

Edgar Alejandro Martinez-Ojeda et al.

Status: open (until 21 Jun 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2021-38', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Jun 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Edgar Martinez, 07 Jun 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2021-38', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Jun 2021 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Edgar Martinez, 08 Jun 2021 reply

Edgar Alejandro Martinez-Ojeda et al.

Edgar Alejandro Martinez-Ojeda et al.

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Short summary
A model for computing vertical-axis wind turbine farms was developed using computational fluid dynamics open-source software. This model has the potential of evaluating wind farm configurations which can lead to a higher annual energy yield. Such configurations have not been studied thoroughly due to the fact that most analysis tools are computational expensive, this model can be run in personal computers within a matter of minutes or hours depending on the number of turbines.
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